Of Mice and Men // Caskets // Defects // Live Review // Rescue Rooms // Nottingham

Of Mice and Men // Caskets // Defects // Live Review // Rescue Rooms // Nottingham


To make a rainy Monday more exciting and less depressing, is there anything better to do than go to a concert? Tonight we’re in Nottingham, seeing a band that had a massive part in many teenage years- Of Mice and Men.

Of Mice and Men is an American rock band formed in 2009. The band has had a line-up change since its initial formation, it originally had two vocalists, and now only has one. The band have 8 albums, including “Tether“, which was released this year and is the catalyst of the tour.

Defects is a UK 5-piece with a mix of London, Birmingham and Wales. They recently released their EP “Broken Bloodlines”. The band came on the stage to an absolute uproar from the crowd. Whether that’s a fanbase or just excitement to make a Monday better, it was great to hear and gave me hope that this crowd is going to be an active one.

The vocalist has some filthy harsh and great soft vocals. His voice was backed up by the guitarist who provided backup. The main vocalist was constantly on the go. At one point me and the other photographer stood stunned as he twirled and travelled half the stage. The energy clearly rubbed off on the crowd as they got even rowdier. The guitarists too had some great energy. The one doing backup vocals made sure not to leave his mic for too long, but the other two were constantly switching sides and moshing to the music. The drummer was tucked right in the corner of the stage, he was unfortunately hard to see if you weren’t up close but just know- he was doing his thing and he was doing it passionately.

The crowd interaction of the band had such great confidence and leadership to it. The vocalist is not afraid to demand more energy from the crowd or point and make eye contact. He would conduct the crowd to wait….and wait, then once the drums came in- he had the crowd let loose of all that energy. It would’ve been great to have each song introduced with its name, but I’ve noticed this is a habit a lot of bands no longer do. Defects were also recently announced for Download and many UK and European festivals in the new year, so this definitely doesn’t seem to be the last we’ll hear of them.




Caskets is a 5-piece from Leeds. They released a new album this year called “Reflections“. The band already have quite a substantial following in the UK alone, evident by how many fans are here already and screaming the lyrics during their set. As the band came on, the barrier is full of screams and outstretched hands from the Caskets fans.

The band got into their opening with “Guiding Light”. The crowd were so loud and enthusiastic shouting back the lyrics, which meant the singer confidently would pass the mic to them throughout the set. The singer was always on the go and making sure to interact with the fans, at one point reaching out his hand to touch theirs but alas, they were too far apart…it felt poetic.

It was clear the band had fun when on stage. Even when the mic cable suddenly detached for no apparent reason the guitarist was ready to carry on the song til the cable was sorted. The band as a whole were always getting close to the edge of the stage. The vocalist jumps, moving between the platforms and even pointing to the guitarist during his harsh vocals as if to say “Isn’t he cool?” The guitarists were constantly moshing and vibing with the audience and throwing their picks, even before the set was over. I think it’s been a while since I’ve seen two bands in a row interact this much with the audience and clearly be building even bigger fanbases- which supporting a headliner is all about. Caskets will be finishing this tour with OM&M before having a busy start to 2024 with a month-long tour in America with Set it Off.




It was funny reflecting on how OM&M was a paramount part of my “emo” years, with the coloured jeans and cute but deadly creature tees and talking about how emotional THAT song of theirs is. Hearing people walk past complaining that their “back hurts” made me realise how all of us have gotten older but never left that “phase”.

The lights dimmed…on came the drummer first, to the excitement of the crowd. He sat at the kit and started doing a steady beat. The lights were changing with each beat he would do. To the cheer of the crowd, on came the rest of the band. The band got straight into the first of the set, “Bones Exposed”. The crowd was almost as loud as the Vocalist, as they screamed the lyrics back. Almost every hand was outstretched upward in a fist and a pit already forming in the middle of the room.

I read that the vocalist played bass still, as he did in the early days. But it seems they’ve traded that in potentially just as stems, giving the vocalist more freedom to move around. He would sway with the melody and raise his fist at each drop. He had a really great voice, harsh and soft but I couldn’t help but feel he was holding back with interacting with the crowd. OM&M are still an iconic band and understandably when the band first formed, this vocalist wasn’t the frontman. Even when passing the mic to the audience, the arm was never fully outstretched. I don’t want to assume the reason behind it, it’d just be great to see a bit more energy when it came to crowd interaction.

The drummer was smiling at the crowd, every time I looked in his direction. The guitarists were moving in their spaces and one guitarist was providing harsh vocal support, whilst the other supported on soft. It was great to see the teamwork going on between them. The energy from them as a whole was bolstered by the enthusiasm from the crowd. The crowd having waited a long time for them to come back here on tour.

The song that every emo kid of my generation knew…the band came back after playing concert peek-a-boo, AKA the Encore, and presented us with “Second and Sebring”. A staple in my generation’s “emo phase”. The crowd was roaring, almost drowning out the vocalist. The emotions this song carries are so raw that it hits even after all this time. The band carry the song so well and this shows the power they had all those years ago never left even though we’ve all gotten older.

Of Mice & Men reminded us all tonight how they are still the same band that caught that wave at the height of emo rock. The band are a staple of so many childhoods and I hope younger emos and rockers have the experience we once did with this band. This current tour finishes on the 14th of December in London, with around 8 dates left in the UK – a lot of which are low tickets or already sold out. The band will then go to Japan and Australia next year and also tour America supporting Architects in the springtime.

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