MY FAVOURITE RUNNER UP @ Manchester Club Academy, 13th August – Highlight

 

All the way from North Wales in a Transit van My Favourite Runner Up are strong contenders with potential for nationwide recognition in the pop-punk field.

This high school fuelled epidemic is currently sweeping over the UK with bands like Twenty Twenty, Francesqa, Jody Has A Hitlist and Futures all waiting in line for their turn on the throne as peers to All Time Low and You Me At Six who I worked with back when Elliot Minor were rising.

MFRU have good vocal pitching in their live set which isn’t always evident in bands of this ilk. Maybe a few more backing harmonies and counter melodies wouldn’t go a miss but they do have something quite nice about their sound despite it not being the most original music you can find. What I really loved about their live show was the fact they appeared on stage as themselves with stage banter and humour coming across subtle and natural.

I triple hate when people don’t stick around to see a new band. What I like to see is when a band make the most out of every show regardless of how many people are listening. MFRU do exactly that and every time I see them play live every person in the room is kept listening throughout the whole set. Their punk takes on pop covers remain the same; this gets a bit tedious once you’ve seen them do it numerous times before. Nevertheless these guys are a hard-working band and just need to find themselves in order to progress now. I hope these guys keep writing and widening their listening vocab taking notes from new influences.

Having listened to the EP they were GIVING AWAY FOR FREE in it’s entirety this morning, the semi American accent gives it the right vibe to bait for the audience they are fishing for. It made me reminisce back to the pop punk revolution when bands like New Found Glory, Fenix TX, Midtown, Allister and Homegrown were thriving during the Drive-thru records era. I remember seeing these bands at the academy and it was pure escape from the daily drags of teenage life. Could the same hysteria happen again with a group of British bands collected on the same label remains to be seen…

The production is radio ready but sounds like the mastering needs more attention as I noticed a slight volume change between tracks. Also please invest a little more into the product as it would be a great shame to not give your fans something a little more precious to hold rather than it be just copied data disc sitting on the shelf with a print out cover – do your hard work justice and show how much you care about it! There’s still some ground work to be done here but MFRU are definitely up there with the best of them.

People criticise music of this genre for being so “samey” to every other band doing the same thing but the difference is a band that does it and a band that does it extremely well. It’s fairly ABC to write this calibre of song but to write the song that people catch on to and rings true with the teens is the challenge. Don’t forget who your audience are and make your songs as commercially accessible as possible. The ones that do make it are the ones who have very strong songs, friends in the right places and the ATTRACTIVE looking product.

Their EP is out soon and they pull up in Manchester again on Sept 10th at Jabez Clegg playing alongside TALL TREES, POST MODERN GEISHA and FANTASIST. Also on the bill are Real Reason and Kandy Kreeps.

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