Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 4th feb
Gym Class Heroes have been labeled in some quarters as 'emo Hip-Hop'. Judging by the amount of teenagers clad in skinny jeans at the Wedgewood Rooms, the lazy comparison doesn't seem too far off.
But while a lot of GCH songs are very story led and focus a lot on love, the fact that Travis McCoy's narrative flow is backed by live instruments takes the songs further than some love sick pop song.
Opening up for them tonight were Def Jux duo Hangar 18. Considering only a handful would have heard of Windnbreeze and Alaska beforehand, after a couple of songs they were right behind them thanks to the guy's natural on-stage camaraderie and involvement of the crowd on 'Baking Soda', 'Take No Chances' and 'Go Git That'.
When GCH came on, the venue was awash with a combination of hollers and girls screaming from the mixed audience. Perhaps summed up best is how Travis described the groups music when speaking to a friend. "I'm not an mc, I'm not a singer… I make music".
'New Friend Request' and the catchy as hell 'Clothes Off' were well received but the biggest cheer of the night was for the single and TRL loved 'Cupids Chokehold'. By the second chorus, the guys were regulated to bystanders as the crowd went word for word.
Although not in the same breath as The Roots, GCH are a group with a healthy amount of good songs and need to be seen live to fully appreciate what they are doing.