Tonight Alive take over London’s KOKO with ROAM and The Gospel Youth

Aussie rockers Tonight Alive play an inspirational show in London with a stellar support line-up. 

Having released their fourth studio album Underworld via Hopeless Records earlier this year, Sydney-based pop-punk outfit Tonight Alive headed across the globe to play a run of shows in the UK – including a headline show at London’s KOKO. And they brought The Gospel Youth and ROAM along with them to join the party.

Brighton rockers The Gospel Youth kick things off with their impressive support set to an already pretty packed venue. Kicking off with I Will Deliver You To The Fireflies, off their 2017 album Always Lose which was released via Rise Records. “This is the biggest show we’ve ever played, and we’re a bit nervous” vocalist Samuel Little admits, “So this song is about all those voices in your head telling you you’re not good enough” he adds before launching into Wildfires. But throughout the band’s set it becomes clear that they have absolutely no reason to be nervous – with their energy, relatable songwriting and catchy hooks The Gospel Youth will headline KOKO in no time. Favorite track of the evening is most definitely Resolutions, a song Samuel says is about “being in a really shitty relationship”.

Eastbourne pop-punks ROAM are next on stage and if there’s one thing these guys do well, it’s live shows that’ll have you bouncing all the way through. Having played their own headline shows across the UK just before Christmas in support of their new album Great Heights & Nosedives (out via Hopeless Records), some of the crowd seem to know exactly what’s in store for them. Starting things off with the highly energetic Left For Dead and Alive. “Have you ever had someone you just wanted to spin-kick in the face? Thats what this song is about!” vocalist Alex proclaims before jumping into Guilty Melodies. And what would a ROAM set be without a bit of crowd surfing and mosh pits?! For Deadweight, off the band’s 2016 record Backbone, a huge circle forms on the ground floor of KOKO before it erupts into a bouncing mosh pit. The band’s addictive track Playing Fiction rounds off a dynamic set for the British five-piece.

With a crowd eagerly awaiting their headliner for the night, it is no surprise they go wild as Tonight Alive step onto the stage. And throughout sixteen songs, the Aussie pop-punks deliver a set filled with elegance, empowerment and sense of community.

First track Book Of Love, is also the first song on the band’s newest record Underworld. It’s just one of many the shine a bright light on front woman Jenna McDougall’s hauntingly beautiful vocals. It’s that voice, her somehow super calming hand movements and her inspiring words in between songs that make it clear why fans love this band so much. “It’s about divine feminine liberation!” Jenna calls out before the band launch into Crack My Heart. 

“The UK is the only place outside of Australia that feels like home. We haven’t played this song since KOKO 2014” McDougall says about Say Please, taken off the band’s 2013 album The Other Side, which tonight they play in a stunning acoustic version. The song is followed by For You, another track off Tonight Alive’s latest album. And while all eyes are focused on Jenna as she mesmerised us with the romantic lyrics of the song, we can spot two girls getting on stage and then: proposal! Hearts melting everywhere in the venue, you can hear sighs and aw’s in every corner. Kaitlyn and Catherine met at Tonight Alive’s show at KOKO in 2014 and have been to over one hundred shows between them. Heart eye emoji central! What a perfect way to propose, and what a lovely band Tonight Alive are to spread the love by letting Catherine propose on stage. Best of luck for you ladies, that is beautiful stuff!

And with a message of romance, community and self-love, Tonight Alive create an atmosphere that carries far past the doors of KOKO, and far past 11pm on a Thursday night.