There was feel in the air on Saturday. A feel of promise and anticipation. Excitement a plenty. The Liverpool music scene is thriving at the moment. Swaggering more than it has for a long time it feels. Across town, another local hit Jamie Webster is performing in The Jacaranda. At the 02 Academy, 550 adoring fans eagerly arrive to see The Cheap Thrills in a headline gig to unveil their new EP Vue Du Monde.

Welcome to the disco then. Like all good discos, The Cheap Thrills accompany themselves with some talented dancing partners. Three of them to be precise. Support comes from The Jagz, The Sway & The Kairos. Three upcoming local acts that are all brilliant bands in their own right. Three bands beautifully different from each other that accompanied together perfectly, turning the anemometer bit by bit for a capacity crowd ready to explode. 

The Jagz take the baton first and get the show on the road. With a second EP about to take off on 8th November and a headline sell-out gig of their own announced for mid-December, this was a big night for the Mersey-surfers. A chance to unveil their tunes in a new market and keep the momentum flowing. They go down a storm and have the front 4/5 rows screaming their lines back to them throughout. A sea of arms in the air, in tangent with the beat from the offset. The Jagz mix favourites from their first EP and interject with a few of their newer numbers that are also well received. Their variation is so impressive and each track has a different sound and mood. The Wirral melody makers do a sterling job of ensuring the anticipation and longing for their new EP Cathedral Dreams is accelerated. You were looking forward to Friday. You now can’t wait for Friday. The flow is tremendous throughout as The Jagz set up the festivities as we mean to go on. 

Next up is The Sway who gently turn the lever and produce another fantastic set. The lead singer has a cracking voice and is backed up superbly by his troops as they serenade an audience in trance with their set. The vibes are very Mersey-beat and the sound at times is very La’s like which can never be a bad thing. Their new single Step Right is the highlight and has all the elements of a great, great track. Released only 4 weeks ago, this has to be the springboard for future success. It’s catchy, has a lovely flow and melody and upon it’s completion, the crowd gives it the acclaim it is worthy of. 

The Kairos are then tasked with setting up the main event and like their previous counterparts, they do so excellently. The lever on the anemometer is now in the hands of their frontman who cranks it up a huge notch. The guitars are heavier and the bass line darker. They have a great look about them and there are no prizes for guessing what part of the world they are from as they take to the stage. I love how business like they are, all in it for the music which is what we like to see. It is what this crowd likes to see. Their set ignites the room with a relentless tempo that never wilts. Money Mind almost takes the roof off with it’s aggression and heart. It sounds brilliant on the single and even better live which is all you can ask for really. A thrilling salvo from a genuine no-nonsense, out and out rock and roll band which was energising to be a part of. 

The Cheap Thrills Liverpool O2 Academy

And now for the main event as The Cheap Thrills take to the stage to a wall of noise from the capacity crowd. What is clear is that following the success of Vue Du Monde, The Thrills are now are armed with an array of songs that can stand alongside anything on your playlist at the moment. Their whole set is a non-stop success, make no mistake about it. It was incredible to see a crowd that knew every line and every beat to their new EP which is a little over two weeks old. It paints a picture of where they’re at now and the journey they are sure to go on. Smile When You Sleep caused a stir, Saint or Sinner was a heart-pounding sing-along across the disco lit room. Colours dancing in your eyes. The night however belonged to Codependence.

The Cheap Thrills Liverpool Live

From the first pluck of the guitar, 550 adorers had read the script and acted accordingly. It’s time to get on your friend’s shoulders and strut around the floor. It’s time to empty your lungs. The Cheap Thrills looked like they had the time of their lives up there on Saturday. No nervous energy, they just went for it and they got it. There was a lovely moment at the finale of Codependence when lead singer Lewis Pike decided the night wasn’t over and took the crowd through another rendition of the chorus. We could’ve been there all night to be honest but we’ll have to wait until next time. 

In a time when it seems an ordeal to get tickets for the big concerts and even tougher to go to Glastonbury, Saturday was further evidence that what we have on our doorstep can be just as good and at times better. Four young acts full of life leaving everything on the stage for a capacity crowd and all for less than ten pounds. The Cheap Thrills have developed a bit of a slogan for keeping it cheap. They along with The Jagz, The Sway & The Kairos also made certain that they kept it thrilling. The big nights don’t have to be the expensive nights. “I’m loving cheap thrills instead”.

For more information about The Cheap Thrills visit https://www.facebook.com/TheCheapThrills/

Jamie Hankin