Over the past eighteen months The Academic have built up a real name for themselves. They went viral with a clever rendition of their most favoured track ‘Bear Claws’ using the delay in Facebook livestreams to loop the song. Just this weekend gone there was a monster queue outside Gorilla to see them at Neighbourhood Festival. There was a wide demographic of people waiting too, all chomping at the bit to get a glimpse at the Irish four piece.
Coming up the stairs into the O2 Academy 2 the first thing I notice is the heat. In the winter it seemed somewhat wise to come into town in a jumper, a decision i regretted from the moment I hit the dance floor. The majority of the crowd are dripping with sweat in the pit, there’s a joke tossed around by frontman Craig Fitzgerald about how much weight everyone will have lost by the time the gig ends.
The room is packed out and it’s clear the Irish four piece are humbled, every few songs they go back to thank everyone for coming to the show talk about how they’re surprised the room is so full. The way The Academic command the crowd is incredible. The slightest thing they do has a new pit opening within seconds, teens eager to lose their minds (and possibly a shoe) to their favourite band.
By the time the chorus of ‘Bite My Tongue’ comes around it feels like the floor is giving way to all the jumping. Between songs there’s stories about the songs like how Fitzgerald got ID’ed in the US to go to a swimming pool (jacuzzi) because he has the face of a 12 year old despite being 23. These stories and tid bits make the songs come to life. There’s also a natural charisma to the band, when the frontman nearly fell during a song at the end he was adamant the crowd should all go and watch the video below and have a laugh at how he nearly recreated it.
Tales from the Backseat becomes a teenage joyride when performed. It goes through the elation, rebellion and coming to terms with adult life and adjusting to it. The mixed crowd all take away different things. The majority are teenagers who take the songs as the best times of their lives whilst the young adult seem to relate more to the bittersweet ones like ‘Television’ and ‘I Feel It Too’.
Every night of the tour has had the pleasure of having a randomly selected cover and last night was no different. Newcastle received a rendition of Buzzcock’s ‘Ever Fallen in Love’, famously from Shrek 2. The crowd take to the cover really well and the final two songs ‘Bear Claws’ and ‘Different’ soar from here, whipping up a final frenzy.
Despite having only first visited Newcastle in May for Hit the North, the band swear they’ll be back in the new year on their next tour. So keep your eyes peeled, you heard it here first.
Listen to Tales from the Backseat here