Elliot_Minor_small_2@ Northumbria University, November 21 2009

Pop rock buzz band Elliot Minor took to the stage in Newcastle to perform the last of their English tour dates in front of a surprisingly small audience at Northumbria University’s modest student union venue.

With their self titled debut album reaching the dizzying heights of six in the UK charts in 2008, one might have expected larger numbers. However it seems the change in venue from the city’s Academy was made to suit a more intimate crowd.

The band from York served up a host of non-offensive guitar-driven standards to a mainly school-age audience who seemed to lap up every minute of a high intesity show.

The band had played in Newcastle before – supporting McFly – and it was clear that they fit into that mould with tracks such as Parallel Worlds and Time After Time made for the teen rock market.

The first support act, indie rock band FranKo kicked off the proceedings for the night, with the young fourpiece from South London giving a confident performance in a bid to get the small but perfectly formed crowd going early on.

They were followed by the punk pop band Me vs. Hero who attempted to move the audience up another emotional notch. But instead of the ‘wall of death’, the band divided the audience into two halves and encouraged the ‘wall of hugs’. Rock fans will be waiting anxiously to see if Lamb of God or Zebrahead follow suit. Presumably not.

When Elliot Minor arrived the atmosphere did improve – kicking off their set with the track Shiver, from their new album, might have been a gamble but following it up with crowd favourite Jessica did the trick.

The band played a mix of songs from both their albums and even the slower tracks prompted a positive response. The vocals from lead singers Alex Davies and Ed Minton were superb throughout, although it was disappointing that none of the classical instruments that the band have used before made it to the Northumbria stage.

This might have been a watered down version of a true rock concert but Elliot Minor were majorly impressive. The world may yet be their oyster.

Steven Duquemin