Saturday night certainly was a night to remember (or rather, not remember for the majority of the audience) as groups of drunk teenagers piled into the Temple at the Institute in Digbeth, Birmingham to see locals Modern Minds. My reasons for attending this gig weren’t merely due to how much I like the band, but the last time I saw them at the Sunflower Lounge supporting another rising Birmingham band – DUMB – my friends and I embarrassed ourselves so much they gave us free tickets to this one… So there we were, looking to add to the collection of stolen items from Modern Minds’ gigs (currently consisting of a microphone and about twelve posters) and see if we could make that night as legendary as the previous. And believe me we were not disappointed.
As luck would have it, supporting Modern Minds were four piece indie group Eskers, schoolkids with a surprisingly large following within the teenage population of Birmingham. Their fans alongside those there for Modern Minds culminated into an unruly rabble of under 20’s at the front of the audience surrounded by those who saw sense and took a step back, and frankly I don’t blame them. As Eskers powered their way through their set, the crowd of predominantly their fans certainly made no attempt to hide their support for the band. In shorter terms; they went insane. It would be really great to see them headline a show of their own some time, there should be promising things ahead.
As Modern Minds came on, a large portion of Eskers fans dispersed off into the dark streets of Digbeth and the older crowd who had been hanging around sheepishly at the back of the venue come forwards to join the dancefloor. What followed was possibly one of the most energetic gigs I’ve been to (and I’ve been to a few). There was more space in the Temple compared to the cramped Sunflower lounge, but this just meant that people danced more to fill that space, as Modern Minds got the room jumping around like lunatics within minutes. Their upbeat tunes with catchy choruses literally stick in your head for days, and there’s something about the entire room vibrating with the drums that makes it impossible not to dance.
Like, seriously. It went off. The dancefloor became a disaster zone. I’m about 90% sure i stood on someones face (sorry). As they blasted out favourites such as Escape and What You Waiting For? the crowd got rowdier and rowdier, with more and more people joining the fray from the back of the room. A personal favourite has got to be their cover of ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths’, and let’s just say I’m glad it was dark in there because I got embarrassingly excited, it’d be so great if they could get a recording of that out. The gig came to a close with my all time favourite ‘Atmosphere’, and the venue quite literally exploded and in true Birmingham style we invaded the stage. I apologise in retrospect to anyone I unintentionally flashed whilst hopping the barrier, but trust me, being onstage surrounded by people and wires and instruments was so worth it. Being thrown off by security was considerably less fun, but still thoroughly recommendable.
I wish I’d managed to stay behind and hang out with the bands for longer but we very quickly went stumbling back towards the bullring, with ringing ears and bruised limbs. They’re playing again on the 18th as part of the OxJamBrum festival and I will most definitely be there: it’s going to be mental.
Words by Paula Lacey