I’ve not written one of these for a while but last night for the first time in a while I felt compelled to go straight home and do so. The thing that is special here is when a band manages to knock you off guard every time. You think you are safe standing with your beer as the act takes to stage, but then every once in a while a band comes along and dismantles the walls of your home brick by brick. THEYRE COMING IN! When I say “they” I am talking about Madison State who completely owned music goers in Manchester Academy on Saturday night by giving them everything they didn’t know their life was missing. How did the crowd react? They went for it!

This is what the rock show is about for me;

Unpredictability – The thrill is in not knowing what the what the hell could happen next. Never give the same performance twice. Give your gig a twist put some thought in to the way your set will unfold both sonically and visually.  Never appear to be simply going through the motions. This takes planning.

Belief – Rockstar’s only exist if they believe in themselves. Your goals must be true and  ALL about the music.

Showmanship/confidence – The two go hand in hand. Who gives a shit about what other people think? The sort of attitude that will win you lovers and haters. Who ever cared about the haters anyway!

Presence – Everything from the special look in your eye to the words you use to communicate with an audience are what will earn you their attention. Just be yourself to the core and you can’t lose.

Here we have an upcoming band that deliver on all these accounts…

Support bands World’s Of Polaris, Concrete Waves and Odd Squad warmed the crowd up nicely, and are all bands I would recommend checking out live!


 If you book Madison State and put people in front of them they will give you the million-dollar performance… guaranteed. Every second counts on stage for vocalist Liam Greaves as you see him in his element performing with passion and flair. It would be all too easy to describe this amount of confidence as pretentious but he was very capable of captivating every head in the room without showing any self-doubt. He’s a natural frontman and looks great on stage – fact! You gather from this band’s sheer enthusiasm that there are bigger plans for their humble beginnings. THIS WAS MADE FOR THE ARENA! If they continue to pay their dues there’s no reason they shouldn’t be there – one rung at a time though. The slow build is what creates an act with any sense of real longevity. What makes this even more possible for these guys is their professional manner plus the bonus that they are real nice guys to work with. They leave their stage personas on the stage, just how it should be.

Despite not being the most original sounding outfit out there right now this band shouldn’t be overlooked for their musical ideas and big choruses. They demonstrate a competent ability of structuring a song by flavouring with nice rhythmic and chord changes. Comparisons could be made to Lost Prophets and Funeral For A Friend however there are moments of pop where I could hear influences from bands like Lit. I would love to see this band lean more in that direction but that’s just me throwing in my ideal.

“Take Our Stand” was the song for me. It hits you on the arrival of the chorus by going in the opposite direction to what you expect when it drops to half time. The guitar riff ties this song together and makes it instantly recognizable from the first note. Guitarist Mark Doyle writes catchy riffs which could be up there with the likes of Jeremy Popoff’s on “Tripping The Light Fantastic” and “A Place In The Sun”. Also to be noted were tightness of bass and drums as they held everything together, never skipping a beat.

I would encourage further work on developing the songs if they want this to turn in to something that fans will buy in to. Also people need to be leaving the show with the CD in their hands… this is what was lacking.

If you haven’t already done so check Madison State out live. I dig this band!


  1. louise

    totally echo all your words , it was my first gig ( yes im ashamed to say it especially as i work at the studio where madison rehearse ! )…and was totally blown away ,professional and sexy as hell it was a feast for the eyes as well as the ears …what a great introduction to gig life …more of that please x


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