You can forgive people for thinking that pop punk is for kids. The steadily growing queue of fans that snakes its way around the streets surrounding Cardiff’s Student’s Union consists predominantly of 14 year olds who have just discovered hair dye. That aside, the sheer amount of people suggests the show deserves at least some attention.
First to take the stage of the sweaty, beer-scented club venue are Divided By Friday. Storming through the pop-fuelled tracks of their recent release ‘Modern Memoirs,’ the trio warm the eager crowd nicely. Not quite enough, though. Decade, the South West’s newest addition to the scene completely steal their thunder. Latest release ‘Good Luck’ provides the band with more than enough ammo to keep the near to sold out venue hanging on their every word. Reeling off melodic choruses like it’s their day jobs (it isn’t, yet), they prove that British pop punk is contending with the best.
Man Overboard pick up where Decade left off, charging through a set of crowd-pleasers with such fervour that it’s impossible not to reciprocate. ‘Love Your Friends, Die Laughing’ sees the 1000-strong audience leading the final refrain; the New Jersey quintet have this party in the palm of their hand. Playing as if it’s their own show, you almost forget that the headliners are yet to arrive.
However, when they do arrive, it’s clear exactly why everyone is here. Mayday Parade unveil hit after hit from ‘Jamie All Over’ to ‘Oh Well, Oh Well.’ The newer additions to the canon are received just as well, but nothing comes close to the sing-along prompted by the addition of a keyboard to the stage. ‘Miserable At Best’ leaves lead vocalist Derek alone with the most absorbed crowd of teenagers you’ll see in a long time.