Framing Hanley are currently touring with the launch of their recent single “Twisted Halos” from The Sum of Who We Are, while Paper Man were promoting their second EP, Midfield Modern Argument. Both acts received a great mix of enthusiasm and energy from the young crowd, and still something seemed out of place.
Paper Man are angst driven, noisy and well practiced, the kind of band anyone would instantly take a shine too, but they seemed ill suited for the age of the crowd before them. They sound good live, like a Nirvana grunge vibe, and still I wasn’t drawn to them as much as I would be if they were in a bar or in front of an older audience, somewhere they could really let loose.
Because of all this they seemed tense and slightly pulled back, were I suspect they are usually more natural and active. In spite of this, they have some catchy songs with interesting lyrics and definitely have the capability to hold a crowd and get them enthused. Given time to tighten up their set and truly engage and interact with the audience, no matter who that may be, while preparing the next song it will be interesting to see where they go from here. Whenever that may be, I hope I’ll have that opportunity once again to see them in action.
Framing Hanley, after some technical difficulties, arrived on stage with the screams of the girls in the crowd. Drawing on influences such as 30 Seconds to Mars and My Chemical Romance, Framing Hanley truly resonated with the crowd, bringing them in for a frenzy of getting close to front man Kenneth Nixon. Well versed in how to perform, the band never missed an opportunity to connect with the audience, making them hang on every word and get sucked into every song. It was a really great thing to see and showed why I love these small gigs, they are a lot more action packed and intimate, something Framing Hanley knows how to capitalise on. Playing old songs and from their latest album, they received a lot of attention which they threw back into the crowd with renewed vigour. Moving from fast and heavy to more slow and sombre songs, they created a set list that captured the hearts and minds of the audience.
Even though the two acts didn’t seem match up in terms of musical style and genre, they both connected well on the night to get the audience engrossed and engaged, and that’s what truly matters. Both bands have a lot more potential for the coming years, so it will be exciting to see how they develop along the way. In the mean time, if you’re in need of a quick fix of either you can listen and download them online, it wouldn’t kill you to give them a go. Joe Smyth, GiggingNI.com