Little has been heard of Tennessee five piece Framing Hanley since their last UK tour in 2011, but since then they’ve lost and gained a member, made an album and released a couple of singles. Support bands The Wilde and Hours are pleasant enough to listen to, but ultimately flop in igniting a spark of energy from the crowd, and the venue is pretty dead by the time Framing Hanley walk on stage.
Although opening song Criminal is one of the belters from their new album The Sum of Who We Are, very few members of the crowd react to it. Other songs from The Sum of… scarcely get a reaction, whereas hits from the first two albums, such as You Stupid Girl, 23 Days and Back To Go Again get the less miserable fans singing the lyrics back to a band who are clearly worried at the small turnout. Despite a tiny stage and a largely disagreeable crowd, Framing Hanley play as excellently as they always have, with frontman Kenneth Nixon executing his vocals perfectly, blending soft tones with powerful belting choruses, and there’s an unappreciated energy coming from the entire band that would be brilliant if it was captured by a better crowd.
Unfortunately, the only way to drive fans out of their reverie was to play older tunes, which is pitiful for a band that have tried so hard to push The Sum of Who We Are. Their famous cover of Lil Wayne’s Lollipop gets the crowd going a little too late, with less than a handful of songs left.
It’s clear that most people are here to relive the days of their early teenage years, and the band provide the nostalgia that fans have been sucking on all night with Hear Me Now’as their finale, the track that got them signed in 2006, which surprisingly lets the night end on a high.
It’s sad that such a passionate and talented band have been reduced to playing a mediocre venue to a flat crowd. Although the way the band handled this and played excellently despite it was admirable, after this reaction it’s uncertain what the future holds for Framing Hanley.