On Friday night, up-and-coming indie pop band Birthday Card played the Aristocrat in Aylesbury for their first ever hometown headline slot. The venue was absolutely packed out, which comes as no surprise given the success of their first (and only) released song ‘Heartstops’, for which the video has 4,581 views on YouTube in just 4 months. Being able to fill a venue to capacity with just one song out and not much of a live history hints at a very special future for Birthday Card.
Birthday Card are a band for everyone; their sound can be compared to modern day artists such as The 1975 and Peace, and also traced back to the 80s with artists like New Order. ‘Heartstops’ features a catchy guitar riff and chorus, which I couldn’t get out my head for days when I first heard it. They are due to be releasing their next single and video ‘Love Affair’ in the coming weeks, a slighter softer track which again you will find yourself humming without even realising.
To kick off the night there was support from Old Swing, who got the crowd moving and added to the hype about the headliners. Second support came from another local band Blushes who brought their groovy beats to the Aristocrat in full force, becoming a huge hit with the crowd ; check out their EP ‘Private Viewing’ on Spotify. Third and final support slot was filled by Temper Cartel. This was the first time I had ever heard them but they definitely gained some fans and were perfect at building the hype for the headliners.
The Aristocrat was smothered in heart shaped balloons and flowers were scattered all over the stage, instantly creating a dreamy atmosphere to match the enchanting sounds of Birthday Card, and at quarter to 11 they took to the stage for their first hometown headline show. This night had been a long time coming and all friends, family, pub-goers and Birthday Card super fans were excited and intrigued to hear some new music from the boys and just to support them from the start of their journey. Comprised of Leslie Adriaans (drums), Conor Richards (guitar), Tom Ritchie (bass), and Josh Saw (lead vocals and guitar), the bond between the 4 was very special, and it was clear they were all overwhelmed by the huge turnout. Their set demonstrated how versatile and talented they really are, showcasing their song writing ability and owning the stage like they’ve been doing it for years. Heads were bobbing and feet were shuffling throughout the night and as their set progressed the room became even more packed and the crowd got louder as they began to properly invest in the band. A nice touch was a cover of ‘Dance with me’ by Justin Timberlake, which gave the crowd a chance to sing along and for singer Josh to channel his inner Justin. Another highlight was heavier track ‘New Developments’, where an influence from Slaves came through, something unexpected from Birthday Card but it worked so well.
It’s clear to see that Birthday Card put a lot of thought and care into all aspects of their shows, particularly the visual aesthetic. Closing with ‘Heartstops’, of course, somehow people found room to open up a pit for the drop and the smiles on the band’s faces showed how happy everyone was to be there witnessing this live debut breakthrough.
Keep an eye out for Birthday Card, they’ll be hard to escape soon.
NOT TO BE MISSED: Saturday 19th August (supporting Haze) – O2 Academy Oxford: https://www1.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F00529C9EA5A8C5?brand=o2academyoxford&camefrom=CFC_AMG_OXFORD_hz17
Friday 1st September (supporting Dance a La Plage) – O2 Academy Islington: https://www1.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005294E145C389?brand=o2academyislington&camefrom=CFC_AMG_ISLINGTON_dalp
Debut Single ‘Heartstops’: https://open.spotify.com/track/09MIsODML37fjG4TkdXHuw
‘Heartstops’Official Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rfbHJdNT7M
‘Heartstops’ Jaykscape Remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnDVymFwgyg
Words by Georgia Essex.