Categories
Live Reviews

Review: Arlo Parks at Pryzm, Kingston

If someone had turned around to me 18 months ago and said that it would be over a year and half until I’d attend a live music event in the flesh again, I’d have turned to them and said one of two things, either: A) “Oh come off it, that’s never going to happen”, or B) “Why?! What catastrophic, life-threatening accident am I about to be involved in?!”

As it turns out, that figurative someone would be right. It has been way too long. It has felt like a lifetime. But, on the evening of Tuesday 10th August, at roughly 19:47, the wait was over.

Not only had it been a long while since I had set foot in a music venue, but it had also been an even longer time since stepping foot into a nightclub. Thanks to Banquet Records, though, both of those waits were able to come to an end in one swift go.

It’s incredibly hard to believe that considering the atmospheric rise she has experienced over the past couple of years that Arlo Parks, prior to Tuesday, had yet to headline a show in London. To many, she is a name that appears to have been around for a lot longer than she actually has been, so to learn that this was her first hometown headline show, perhaps understandably, took a few people aback. Such is the way of the world at the moment though, that fans and artist alike have had to wait so long for a live performance.

With no support act for the evening, we were able to jump straight into the main event, with Arlo taking centre stage. The 21-year old was joined on stage by a surprisingly large band, comprised of two guitarists, drummer, keyboard player, bassist, and trumpeter to boot.

The Hammersmith native offered just over an hour’s worth of material to the packed out venue, providing everyone with solid evidence to prove why the Mercury Prize nominee has been hotly tipped for great things in the near future. Park’s voice in a live setting is just as good as it is on record, a feat not many in today’s pop scene littered with autotune and overproduction can claim. Her velvety soft vocal permeated across the auditorium, caressing the ears of those in attendance and providing the truly soothing nature that has become synonymous with her majestic sound.

Parks, who has been helping to fill the boots left by Annie Mac on Radio 1’s Future Stars show since the legendary DJ left the station, meandered her way through a set consisting of ten of the twelve tracks found on her debut record Collapsed in Sunbeams and five from her back catalogue. If there was to be one criticism of the evening, it would be that the pace and mood of the show very much remained the same throughout. Whilst Parks is clearly a very talented songwriter and vocalist, the singular, almost sedate pace of her material could possibly start to feel a little lifeless. The general feeling upon leaving the venue is that an hour of the chilled out vibe was enough, and any longer would run the risk of tedium.

This is not to say that the show was boring in any way whatsoever, quite the contrary. However, if an artist as talented as Parks, who has been tasked with the unenviable fortune of supporting megastar Billie Eilish on the American’s UK leg of her tour next year, is to progress her career to a point where she herself wishes to be a headline act selling out arena tours, she will need to provide a more varied musical offering. Currently, the intimacy of venues such as Pryzm, combined with a setlist timed at just over 60 minutes, appears to be the perfect sweet spot. I will stop short of saying that Parks is suited best to the jazz lounges of the big city, but it may have been a comment I made upon leaving Kingston…

Overall though, Arlo Parks provided us with a wonderfully sensual experience. For a first live music performance since the “end” of the lockdown phase of this pandemic, it was a joy to witness and just as enthralling to stand amongst fellow live music enthusiasts once more.

Boy, it really is good to be back.

Arlo Parks was playing at Pryzm in Kingston on Tuesday 10th August.

 

Latest Release: ‘Too Good’

Highlights: ‘Hurt’ – ‘Too Good’ – ‘Black Dog’

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Categories
Live Previews

Preview: Black Honey at The Joiners, Southampton

In the midst of the 2020 summer, Black Honey caused a bit of commotion on their social media pages when they posted a video of them burning a copy of their debut album on their Instagram and deleting all but one of the posts that came before it. Fans raced to the comments desperately trying to reason as to what this captionless video meant. The band were cryptically replying to many of the comments, without giving anything away. This led more than a few to believe that Black Honey were over.

Now, almost nine months on from that post, we have a greater perspective. Never one to shy away from the dramatics, we now know that the stunt was the start of a new lease of life for the Brighton-formed group. More than two years after their self-titled debut album hit the airwaves, Black Honey announced their long-awaited follow-up, Written & Directed, in October of last year.

In December, the quartet announced that they would be playing a string of socially distanced shows in collaboration with independent record stores this March and April. Due to lockdown restrictions though, these dates have been postponed until the autumn. The six dates will see them visit Kingston, Southampton, Marlborough, Sheffield, Leeds and Preston, courtesy of Banquet Records, Vinilo Record Store, Sound Knowledge, Bear Tree Records, Jumbo Records and Action Records, respectively.

Black Honey play The Joiners in Southampton on 16th September, with tickets available via the Vinilo Record Store websiteWritten & Directed, Black Honey’s second album, will be released on 19th March.

 

Most recent release: ‘Run For Cover’

Songs to listen out for: ‘Beaches’ – ‘I Don’t Ever Wanna Love’ – ‘Midnight’

Listen if you like: Dream Wife – The Big Moon – Yonaka

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Categories
Live Previews

Preview: Sports Team at The Brook, Southampton

Sport Team’s highly anticipated debut album smacked us in the face last June in a big way. The London-based group had been teasing their material in single and EP form up until that point, which all started way back in 2018 – a year that is very much starting to feel like a lifetime ago – with Winter Nets. The fifth day of June in 2020 however, brought us a full twelve track onslaught in the form of Deep Down Happy.

Reviews from established publications were predominately very receptive and complimentary of the record, but it is safe to say that to the general music fanatic or even some of their own fanbase, the album was polarising. But you know what, that is exactly how Sports Team would have wanted this record to be received. Deep Down Happy was very much a culmination of Britpop influences from years yonder and a brash US-alt rock from more recent times.

Alongside the release of their debut album, Sports Team announced a string of thirteen live dates in collaboration with independent record stores that were all meant to be played over March and April last year. Due to postponements as a result of the global pandemic (shakes fist at coronavirus…), these shows have yet to happen. However, with the recent government announcements that we are *hopefully* on the pathway back to normality, there is great hope and anticipation that those with tickets will finally be able to attend a live show once more.

Let’s just hope we don’t fuck it all up.

Sports Team’s rescheduled date at The Brook in Southampton has yet to be announced. For updates and details, visit Vinilo’s website.

 

Most recent release: Deep Down Happy

Songs to listen out for: ‘Here’s the Thing’ – ‘Going Soft’ – ‘M5’

Listen if you like: Fontaines D.C. – The Murder Capital – Working Men’s Club

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Categories
Features Spotlight

Spotlight on Grace Bland

A young lady who is a keen actor and dancer, with a particular passion for ballet having had lessons since she was three, and likes nothing more than long walks with her three year old labrador, meeting up with friends, or having a cosy evening inside watching a film with her family. On the face of it, that could be the description of any normal 18 year old, but Grace Bland is not your normal young adult.

Grace’s ingrained passion for music separates her from the rest. Whilst you could be sat there thinking, “don’t most people have some sort of passion for music?”, of which in the vast majority of instances you would be correct, Grace’s passion stretches much farther than simply listening to her favourite records. The Dorset native has been singing since she was seven, songwriting since she was eleven, and along the way has learnt to play both the guitar and the piano. And whilst the aforementioned evenings in front of a film with her family bring her sheer enjoyment, there is nowhere Grace would rather be of an evening than immersing herself into music, sat at her beloved piano and writing new music.

Grace Bland reached the Grand Final of Open Mic UK back in February

Grace’s latest release, ‘Human’, which was released on 27th July, shows a maturity well beyond her tender years, showing a culmination of her life’s work into three and a half minutes of pure emotive bliss. The track has already been championed by numerous Spotify editors, with it making an appearance on prestigious playlists such as New Pop UK and Easy, delivering the song to the ears of over 380,000 subscribers. Listening to the new single, as well as previous release ‘Pity Parties’, it is easy to see why Spotify and regional radio stations, most notably BBC Introducing Radio Solent and Voice FM, across the entire south coast have been quick to champion this wonderfully talented artist.

Her latest single will hopefully catapult Grace towards the next stage of her career as she continues to write music and record out of River Studios in Southampton. Having already performed at numerous smaller festivals and events, including the likes of Music In The City and Gosport Waterfront Festival, the highlight of this young, promising career so far came earlier this year when Grace made the Grand Final of Open Mic UK, having been named a Showcase Winner at the Regional Finals. The judging panel rightly described her as “a star in the making” and praised her for her “bags of songwriting ability” and “authentic” performance. This high-profile recognition should only help in ensuring that Grace’s music is brought to even wider audiences over national airwaves and on larger stages in the very near future.

Whilst the songwriting talents of Bland are undeniable, it is her live performances which are most endearing. It can be unfortunately very rare in today’s technological age to unearth artists with a natural beauty in their vocals that sound just as stunning live as they do after post-production in a studio, but thankfully Grace is one such artist.

Gloriously technical female vocalists such as Lana Del Rey, Maisie Peters and Gabrielle Aplin are named as key influences on Grace, and this can be heard loud and clear in her own silvery, modulated sound. She possesses an incredibly delightful vocal that sounds just as familiar as it does unique – a very special blend that soothes and comforts you, particularly during her more emotive tracks. This accomplished sound bodes very well for a young lady that won’t be reaching her vocal peak for at least another half a decade, which allows plenty of time for her to develop into the successful artist her potential promises.

The South of England has been a breeding ground for talent down the years, and in most recent memory has been particularly fruitful for strong, young female talent. Grace Bland could quite potentially be one of the ones that go all the way.

 

Grace Bland’s latest release, ‘Human’ is available to stream across all platforms now and you can listen to it below. For more information and to keep up to date with future releases and news about future tour dates, visit her website or follow her on social media:

Facebook – Instagram Twitter

Categories
Features Spotlight

Spotlight on Mauvey

Born in Ghana, raised in the UK, with time spent living in Canada. The path trodden by Mauvey is not perhaps one familiar to most; but it is one built on belief, determination, but above all else, love.

Trying to pin Mauvey to a specific genre would be an ill-informed exercise, and one that the artist himself would recognise perhaps as an indictment on his creations. As that is precisely what his songs are, they’re creations, not just simply handwritten words played over a looping beat, they signify something far greater, they represent something meaningful and true. In order to obtain a greater understanding of his work, and maybe even his understanding of music as an art, you need look no further than the artists that have come before him that have influenced the work behind the man.

Citing Michael Jackson, Prince, Oumou Sangaré, Childish Gambino and Andre 3000 as Mauvey’s primary influencers, there is one word in particular that can be used to describe what these men have all offered to the industry – innovation. A keen argument can be made for the fact that all five of these artists have transcended beyond the stratosphere of the music industry in one way or another, and they have a left an evergreen mark on what is the continuously evolving gold standard for an artist. Mauvey recognises this as well as anyone, and it should come as no surprise when listening to his music that he strives to live to this gold standard, all whilst working towards making his own evergreen mark on it. But the innovation in sound is not enough for Mauvey, he pushes the boundaries in every direction, overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers, all whilst trying to stay as far away from the status quo as possible. Who else would attempt to release four EPs in as many days? Mauvey.

The release of Fables in MauveWhole Hive MauveMauvey Mauve, and Martian Mauvey in October last year would have perhaps raised eyebrows with many. Why release sixteen tracks in the space of four days on four separate extended plays? The rational thought and the logical approach to releasing such a plethora of musical experimentation would be to release it in one go, on an album. But why do what everyone else would do, when you could instead turn the vehicle around and move in a completely new direction? That, to Mauvey, would be the logical and rational move to make, not to carry on driving in the same direction.

However, whilst it can become encompassing to divulge into debate about the sound of Mauvey’s music, deciphering whether the genre of a certain track sits closer towards afro-beat, R&B, or maybe even electro-synth pop, or dissecting the approach he has to the release of it, energy would be better spent listening to the message cascaded through each and every single or extended play, both lyrically and in mood.

Love. A short, sweet four letter word. It is a word often said too easily, whilst also a word not said anywhere near enough. Some find it hard to put it into words, whereas others can write sonnets or novels to express what it means to them.

For Mauvey, he delivers love through his art.

“If my entire music career is a giant book about the rigours of love, the ups, the downs, the highs and the complicated lows, I’d have done my job of distributing love. I want to be clear about what I’m talking, singing and rapping about, no games, I don’t know everything, but I know that love is everything, there’s no better subject. My mission is to distribute love, and there is no better way to do that than through music.” – Mauvey

With emotionally charged lyrics piercing through every track produced and carefully put out into the world, Mauvey offers a small glimpse and a small fragment of his own heart and thoughts of love with every word. This passion and belief translates not only to record, but to the stage as well. When Mauvey is performing, his music engulfs him into a tsunami of intense feeling, which translates into a truly fervent display of emotion. When in attendance it can be hard not to find this intensity addictively hypnotic, as you too start to feel the emotion of each track played before you. But at the heart of it all is the message of love.

Current circumstances may not allow Mauvey to visit new places far and wide in order to spread this message physically (the twelve remaining dates of a 31-date UK tour were halted amidst the lockdown caused by this pandemic), but that does not stop the artist spreading his message digitally. Mauvey intends to release a new single or EP every month for the foreseeable future, which all started with the release of the ‘The Bull and the Matador’ A/B side single release on 22nd May.

In times like these where we have never felt so apart, but in a strange way have also perhaps never felt closer, it is the message of love that drives us forwards. And with that message in tow, Mauvey is here to help us all through it.

 

Mauvey’s latest release, ‘The Bull and the Matador’ is available to stream across all platforms now. For more information and to keep up to date with future releases and news about future tour dates, visit his website or follow him on social media:

Facebook – Instagram

 

Categories
Live Previews

Preview: Gengahr at The Joiners, Southampton

After a sold-out headline UK tour last month saw them seven incredible shows up and down the country, followed by a further seven headline European dates and three Australian shows, Gengahr have announced that they shall be heading back out on the road again later this year to visit towns and cities they weren’t able to reach in February.

Last month’s tour celebrated the band’s incredible third studio record, Sanctuary, released on 31 January, and lead to show’s at historic venues like King Tut’s in Glasgow, but also their biggest headline show to date at EartH in Hackney. Their next tour in October, however, promises to be a lot more extensive, playing almost double the number of UK shows, with thirteen dates in the book.

The autumn tour will commence in Truro at The Old Bakery before moving east to Exeter and Bath. The tour’s fourth stop then sees the four-piece arrive in Southampton to play the city’s most famed venue, The Joiners. The following eight dates include time in the likes of Norwich, Liverpool and Newcastle before the tour winds to a close in Huddersfield at The Parish.

Gengahr play The Joiners in Southampton on 13th October, with tickets going on sale on Friday 13th March.

 

Most recent release: Sanctuary

Songs to listen out for: ‘Heavenly Maybe’ – ‘Everything & More’ – ‘Before Sunrise’

Listen if you like: Sundara Karma – Superfood – Wolf Alice

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Categories
Live Reviews

Review: Michael Kiwanuka at O2 Academy, Bournemouth

Following an extensive 18-date headline tour of North America through January and February, the current King of Soul, Michael Kiwanuka, arrived back in the UK for a sold-out ten-date tour of his homeland. The show in Bournemouth at the O2 Academy was the third night, following shows in Birmingham and Southampton, but unfortunately could be the last for a little while, as the 32-year old left the stage just after halfway through his set to retire after starting to lose his voice.

The evening had begun with the air full of anticipation as the sold out crowd crammed into the picturesque O2 Academy, ramming the floor full and populating both balconies to the brim. A cool breeze from the air conditioning did little to counter the heat as bodies upon bodies huddled together, brushing past one another to get the best view possible of one of the world’s hottest artists. With Celeste dropping out of supporting duties for the tour, it was down to last-minute fill-in Tawiah to set the mood for a night of groove and soul. The London-based alt- and Neo-soulstress was not put off from the constant murmurings from the floor, trailblazing through a passionate set filled with gems from her debut record, Starts Again.

Then, upon the nine o’clock chimes, the lights fell and the volume turned up as the bass and drums, alongside the trickling of delicate keys, of Thee Oh Sees ‘Sticky Hulks’ filled the air, and only then, after a couple of minutes of pure instrumental, could the silhouettes of the band and Kiwanuka himself be seen gracing their way across the stage and into position.

Opening the evening with the haunting ‘Piano Joint (This Kind Of Love)’, there was no initial sign of any struggle vocally, with Kiwanuka proving he is just as impressive in a live setting as he is on record. His showmanship then showed colour as he dove straight into ‘One More Night’ from 2016’s Love & Hate, with a distinct Seventies feel from the lighting setup, with disco lighting flickering bright, with a gargantuan disco ball lightly spinning in the background. However, as much as the lighting setup up was impressive, it was not over the top, instead accentuating the performance rather than creating a spectacle.

Michael Kiwanuka at Bournemouth’s O2 Academy

The London-raised soul-man then returned to last year’s critically acclaimed, self-titled record, Kiwanuka, the third of his career, and the one that is likely to elevate him into the upper-echelons of the music industry over next 12 months or so, to continue the feel-good vibrations with the first three tracks off the album. Despite an ever-so slight huskiness to his voice not detected on record, at this point there was still no sign that he was struggling on stage, instead it appeared to be quite the opposite as the band, inclusive of two incredible backing vocalists, and those in attendance, started to build a bond, moving in a synchronised bop across all three floors of the venue. The third of those three tracks, ‘I’ve Been Dazed’, then helped to bring the tempo down to a gentle sway, before moving into the emotive crowd-favourite that is ‘Black Man In A White World’.

The track, from the aforementioned Love & Hate record, depicts the personal experiences of the artist within the industry in which he resides. Those at the O2 Academy, ironically, stood watching, enjoying his performance, most of which was conducted with his eyes shut, personifying the music and lyrics being played to them, with only a smattering of black faces engulfed amongst a sea of white.

We were then treated to two more tracks, in the form of ‘Rule The World’ and his latest single from Kiwanuka, ‘Hero’, before the first couple of notes of ‘Tell Me A Tale’ became a step too far. Abruptly stopping the track, Michael addressed the crowd with an apology before proclaiming he needed five minutes, leaving the stage with his band in tow, before the band returned moments later to inform everyone that he would not be returning, having faced a battle with his voice over the first couple of dates.

Michael Kiwanuka is a generational talent; there is a clear and distinct possibility that he goes down as one of the greatest artists of our time. There may not be many further opportunities to watch him hone his craft in a setting as intimate as that of an O2 Academy for much longer as his star only continues its ascension into the stratosphere. There is a reason why this man is spoken in the same breath as Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye, his music transcends the vast majority of anything else available in the industry today.

One can only hope that not only does the disappointment of his cut-short appearance in Bournemouth last night live short in the memory, but that his voice can recover in lightning fashion so that as many people as possible can witness his brilliance much sooner rather than later. I, for one, sincerely hope to be one of those people.

Michael Kiwanuka was playing at the O2 Academy in Bournemouth on Tuesday 3rd March.

 

Latest Release: ‘Hero’

Highlights: ‘You Ain’t The Problem’ – ‘I’ve Been Dazed’ – ‘Black Man In A White World’

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

 

Categories
Live Previews

Preview: Paul Weller at O2 Guildhall, Southampton

Having already sold out his May headline tour, which will precede the release of his latest studio album, the legend that is Paul Weller will be heading back on the road in the autumn to play 19 further dates in October and November.

On Sunset will be the 15th solo album for the former The Jam and The Style Council frontman, and will be the first endeavour with his new label, Polydor. With every previous record he has released easily reaching the top ten in the UK charts (with no less than four number ones), there is no doubt that Weller we be looking to see whether this album will be his first chart topper since 2012’s Sonik Kicks.

Having been described as “one of the most revered music writers and performers of the past 30 years”, and spoken in the same breath as David Bowie with regards to the variance, longevity and innovative approach to his career, The Modfather shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon – something his loyal fans, built over a career spanning well over four decades, will be glad to hear.

The autumn tour will commence in Belfast at Ulster Hall on 25th October, before heading to Dublin and Plymouth before reaching the O2 Guildhall in Southampton. Further dates in the likes of Brighton, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh follow, before the tour draws to a close with the penultimate night at the O2 Academy in Brixton and the closing show at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town.

Paul Weller plays the O2 Guildhall in Southampton on 30th October, with tickets going on sale on Friday 28th February at 10am.

 

Most recent release: ‘In Another Room’

Songs to listen out for: ‘You Do Something To Me’ – ‘Broken Stones’ – ‘Saturns Pattern’

Listen if you like: Richard Ashcroft – Ian Brown – The Charlatans

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Categories
Live Reviews

Review: Lauran Hibberd at The Joiners, Southampton

Things finally seem to be happening for Lauran Hibberd. She is a regular on our airwaves, including, and perhaps most notably, on Radio 1 with spins from Jack Saunders; she is being sought after for many of the country’s best festivals; and has even been chosen to help represent BBC Introducing at SXSW this year in Austin. Not bad at all. And, to top it all off, she is currently embarking on her biggest headline tour to date, spanning five dates with pit stops in Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester before coming to an end at the Camden Assembly in London. So we thought, why not, let’s go check in on how she’s doing at her “hometown” show on the tour’s opening night at The Joiners.

This was my fourth time seeing Lauran play over the past couple of year’s and it has been incredible to see how her star shines bigger and brighter each and every time. It seems like only yesterday that I was stood in the petite Edge of the Wedge at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth, watching her with a couple of band mates play through a very short and sweet set whilst tucked away in the corner of the room. However, on Saturday evening, she was playing to a sold out crowd at Southampton’s most historic venue, and she looked right at home.

That sold out crowd had already been treated to the incredible young Glaswegian band, Spyres, and fellow indie-pop leading lady Abbie Ozard by the time Lauran adorned the stage, crashing straight into crowd-favourite ‘Sugardaddy’, the lead single from September’s Everything is Dogs EP. Immediately, you could see any sign of nerves dissipate as Lauran settled into her natural habitat, playing off of the reception she was receiving, with a significant number of people singing and chanting her lyrics right back at her every step of the way. This appeared to come as a delightful surprise to the young talent, who couldn’t help but smile when the chorus would kick in and the volume of her fans could be heard above the sound system.

The setlist was dominated by recent tracks from within the discography, with only ‘Hunny is This What Adults Do?’ representing music pre-summer 2018. This in itself is testament to how Lauran has evolved, finding her sound as she has grown as an artist, something that she was anticipating 18 months ago when we sat down for a chat before her headline show at Heartbreakers in July of 2018. With tracks that sit alongside each other as seamlessly and joyously as they do live, there has to be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the next step for Lauran has to be a studio record… but perhaps that is something for when SXSW and the British festival circuit is behind her in the summer.

We were treated to a couple of yet-to-be-released tracks in the form of ‘We Could Be Married, But I Don’t Have a Gun’, and ‘You Never Looked So Cool’ – a track about a dream Lauran once had where she attended her own funeral – which, as was to be expected, displayed all of her talents as a relatable lyricist and an accomplished musician.

The set of a dozen tracks once again confirmed to me that Lauran Hibberd is only at the start of her journey within the industry. She has bags of personality, an incredible ear for riffs and melody, and an all too rare ability to write catchy, relatable lyrics that can resonate with people of all ages and from all walks of life. And I, for one, will be there every step of the way to follow her path as far as it goes!

Lauran Hibberd was playing at The Joiners in Southampton on the first date of her UK headline tour on Saturday 15th February.

 

Latest Release: ‘Bang Bang Bang’

Highlights: ‘Sugardaddy’ – ‘Frankie’s Girlfriend’ – ‘Call Shotgun’

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Categories
Live Reviews

Review: Spyres at The Joiners, Southampton

It is absolutely no wonder why the people of Glasgow have been flooding to venues within the city to catch a glimpse of Spyres.

Perhaps it was to seek shelter from the rain being thrown down by Storm Dennis, or perhaps it was in fact in anticipation and expectation of what was to come, but the floor at The Joiners in Southampton on Saturday evening appeared significantly fuller than usual for the first of three acts that would grace the stage. In venues as intimate as these, it is often surprising how empty they can feel at the beginning of the night, as punters trickle in gradually, often opting to remain at the bar and talk amongst themselves before migrating to the floor later on in the proceedings, but that did not appear to be the case on Saturday. Those that had arrived early, almost two hours before the headliner, instead gathered by the stage to greet the hotly tipped Glaswegians.

Emily Downie, Keria McGuire, Jude Curran and Alex White took to the historic stage at The Joiners with almost equal daunted expressions, perhaps not anticipating or fully realising before elevating above the crowd, how many had braved the atrocious weather outside to get there early to see them play. A wry smile was shared between founding members Downie and McGuire, before bursting into their opening number.

The setlist was laden with riff-heavy, guitar-led tracks, which were perfectly accompanied by punchy bass-lines and percussion, and accentuated by weighty vocals. Downie and McGuire’s past as an acoustic act shine through in their ability to harmonise and compliment each other superbly with their contrasting tones, adding further depth and layering to each and every track.

The set displayed a maturity beyond the quartet’s years; impressive considering Spyres only played their first show less than twelve months ago in April of last year. Whilst it could be argued that the two leading ladies steal the show with their vocals and guitar playing, the lads in the background contribute just as much musically, providing the solid foundations with bass and drums for Downie and McGuire to then build upon, to elevate each track to the anthemic indie-cum-post-punk sound displayed in each.

Arguably saving the best until last, Spyres closed the show with their most recent single, ‘Fake ID’, and their highly regarded debut single, ‘Otherside’, which quite rightly has been championed across many airwaves, but most notably by indie supremo Jack Saunders on Radio 1.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Spyres left those in attendance at The Joiners on Saturday pining for more. Their energetic music, and their relatable lyricism, will ensure that this band quickly build a strong following as they continue on this tour. I can only hope that we hear, and see, much more from them in the very near future.

Spyres were playing at The Joiners in Southampton on Saturday 15th February, supporting Lauran Hibberd on her headline UK tour.

 

Latest Release: ‘Fake ID’

Highlights: ‘Otherside’ – ‘Fake ID’ – ‘Wanna Go Home’

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagram