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Paramore, the Tennessee five piece fronted by Hayley Williams, are a fantastically confusing live proposition; a crate of contradictions that sees them lurch from sounding like New Jersey punks Lifetime one moment to Miley Cyrus' Hannah Montana the next.
The occasion: the band are playing a sold-out-in-seconds Islington Academy - a show that cost fans only £5, a noble concept in these days of rising ticket prices and secondary ticket markets - ahead of the release of their third album Brand New Eyes. But thankfully the band understand that the screaming, colourful kids (and Raz) are here to hear the songs of Riot!, the band's POP-punk stormer.
Paramore are a rare act; a pop-punk band that it's OK for those over the age of fourteen to like (and admit to). Their well-honed live craft is equal parts Bon Jovi and Refused. It's hardcore cartwheels that have grown up in tents, arenas and stadiums. But the reason they stand out is Williams; a loveable yet fierce frontwoman, one of the few females balls-deep enough in the punk rock world to take charge.
They don't muck around either; opening with 'Misery Business' and 'For A Pessimist I'm Pretty Optimistic' and piling straight through to the real-reason-we're here; 'crushcrushcrush'. The only moment that makes us wonder why we didn't go see doom metallers Electric Wizard down the road comes when they screw through a chuggy version of French disco popsters Phoenix's 'Long Distance Call', a near impossible song/band to cover.
The Islington Academy was the scene of Paramore's first ever UK show back in April 2006 (a Give It A Name warm up that also featured tonight's support act The Blackout) and it's admirable that they replicated this for a small gang of fans, especially considering that they subsequently sold out Wembley Arena (with youmeatsix), when they return in December.
Photo by Helen Boast
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