A good glimpse at a striking live band.

I arrived at this gig with little idea of what to expect and my pen poised. Support band Shady Baird set the tone nicely with a set of epic and expansive songs with a mass of instruments that swept the half empty room of Birmingham's Barfly. It seemed fitting then that I Like Trains (apologies for using the conventional spelling there guys but I'm a sucker for that grammar stuff) managed to go further. By the time they arrived onstage the crowd had swelled to a more inspiring number and as the projection screen began its patterns it became clear that I Like Trains are a serious band and enjoy concept art, by no means a bad thing from where I was standing anyway.

The experimental nature of the songs seems to fit with using a projection screen, and gives the songs more depth and background. The often epic, post-rock style comes across better live than on the record 'Elegies to Lessons Learnt', with the serious tone of many songs expressing itself via a vibrant, pulsating intensity. 'Twenty Five Sins' begins with an insistent beat that maintains throughout, making it easily memorable and its strength is magnified via the footage of Birmingham onscreen with flames surrounding it to coincide with the line "this town is burning down". Following on from the searing impression this leaves behind is recent single 'The Deception' is another brooding song that builds and crashes at full force. Seeing I Like Trains live is certainly a good way to get introduced to their music exposing as it does a band with a serious undercurrent to their long but stirring songs of majesty and failure.