New Found Glory/Kids In Glass Houses - Live @ Relentless Garage, London (UK) - 22nd August 2009

Oh yes, what a nice surprise this gig was! For a start, having been away from the scene for way too long, I had no idea New Found Glory were still around and going strong. New album "Not Without a Fight" gives us the usual feel good pop punk with a more mature and experienced vibe, slightly harder but still positive and sunny.
But let's start from the beginning; it's usually the best way to go...
Supporting New Found Glory today is Kids in Glass Houses, a Welsh band I've never heard of before and that make a hell of an impression on me. Simple, bright, catchy pop punk riffs, with hints of indie and rock and ounces of feel good vibes and infectious energy. Put together in 2004 with the idea of writing "fun, enjoyable songs" and totally hitting the target, KIGH published their first EP "E-pocalypse" in 2006, and their live shows earned them support slots for the likes of Lost Prophets, Hundred Reasons, Goo Goo Dolls and Manic Street Preachers and even a Download appearance. So, how lucky am I to catch by chance such a brilliant performance tonight? Wales is really producing some gems recently."Saturday", "Give Me What I Want" and "Easy Tiger" are my favourites at a first go, but I need to know more as soon as I hit Google!
While getting ready for New Found Glory in the photographer's area, I sneak a preview of the set list, and I'm quite chuffed to discover that there are 21 songs coming my way! Wow. The opener is "Don't Let Her Pull You Down" from their latest "Not Without a Fight" album, quiet start and an explosion, carrying the audience enthusiastically into fast paced "All Downhill From Here", all while a crowd surfing epidemic conquers the Relentless Garage. Two more tracks from the new album, "Truck Stop Blues" and "Such a Mess", give us another tasty sample of the new harder sound, which certainly works wonders live.
However, a live show is always ideally a mix between a showcase for the new and a trip to memory Lane. "Failure Is Not Flattering" is a welcome step down that road, and Simple Minds' cover "Don't You Forget About Me" a classy example of how to tribute a classic and make it yours without losing its essence. In an escalation of crowd surfing, sweat and excitement, unforgettable hit "Dressed To Kill" breaks in the air, while the gig seems to reach its climax. We should be just half way through tonight's New Found Glory's set... Yes, we should, but things don't always go the way they should in this world unfortunately.
Lead singer Jordan seems sincerely upset when, after a few words from security, announces he has to "wrap it up" due to the club's curfew. Mortified, he makes it up to us promptly picking the two biggest hits, "Hit or Miss" and "My Friends Over You" and performing them entirely standing on the barrier surrounded by his fans, passing the microphone around and giving an overjoyed crowd the party they deserve.
Shame it was cut short, however tonight's show proved why, compared to too many pop punk outfits from the same era, New Found Glory made it so far. The band expressed a great deal of musicianship, love and respect for its fans, and showed that an artist and his song writing can grow up without growing out of their roots.
Thanks to New Found Glory and Kids in Glass Houses for giving us a hell of a party tonight, and for the smile that will pervade our faces for the next few hours.

by Cristina Massei

Visit the New Found Glory and Kids In Glass Houses Websites