Live Reviews

Milburn – Live

XFM’s Big Night Out
Brixton Carling Academy

These flashy big music/clubbing/getting wasted affairs never do bands justice.

Naturally, massive Carling Academy events only do justice to the free flowing pints of Carling beer. The bands’ job is to supply a more worthwhile reason than alcohol for being there.

So I felt extra sorry for the young Milburn band being first up to play before a swarm of drunken teenagers. It was a challenge to get any tune past the heaving sweating moschpit and to make themselves heard, let alone sounding good.

So did Milburn manage it? Kind of. They were certainly no better or worse than the bands which followed: The View and The Fratellis, but many of their songs sounded the same. Sure, the rabble of the crowd did not make their task easy, but any band which truly wants to make it needs to be able to make the uniqueness of their voice sound loud and clear from any stage.

With a year old record contract and a debut album Well Well Well released only two weeks ago, Milburn have already made it in one sense of the word. But if they want to last beyond the big debut, then the four-man band will have to move away from the Artic Monkeys’ shadow and develop their own style. Milburn’s Artic Monkey reflection is understandable since both groups were born in the lovely city of Sheffield, but folks, a constant stream of individuality and originality is the key to a long-lasting marriage with your record label.

Milburn have a lot of growing up to do, and with the oldest band member being only 20 this is really no surprise. Though their raw youth leaves a lot to be desired it also gives them a lot of space to develop, more so than most new bands have the luxury of. For Milburn, their debut tour is more a right of passage than a claim to fame. “Almost famous” is the phrase which springs to mind.

Rebecca Geach
[Photo courtesy of]