After nearly a full week of clubs, bars and dubious chart music (most of which seemed courtesy of Pitbull), a bit of live music proved to be a very attractive prospect during my first week at Huddersfield University. Bringing together an eclectic line up of local talent, indie heroes and one of my favourite new pop punk acts, in such an intimate venue, there was surely no more perfect way to kick off my Music Journalism degree!
First up were Silent Circus. Having formed at this very Uni late last year, and recorded tracks from their ‘Without Company’ EP here, they arrived to a great reception, their talent as musicians ringing out clearly in tracks such as ‘Miss Me Tomorrow’ and the insanely catchy ‘Scandal’, sung by bassist Sam Mercer. Lead vocalist Adam Finlay also displayed some impressive pipes, most notably on a soaring rendition of Muse’s ‘Feeling Good’, complete with Bellamy-esque vocal gymnastics. All in all, their unique brand of synth pop with the odd heavy riff was enough to overcome some slight technical hitches and win over the crowd.
A band I’ve been following since their debut ‘The Holiday’ first emerged as a free giveaway in RockSound magazine back in March 2010, Futures are at the top of their game. With their second album deep in the works with none other than superstar producer Gil Norton, new tracks such as ‘Say My Name’ slot comfortably alongside the old favourites, all members thrashing about the stage despite the tightness due to heavy equipment. Vocalist Ant West was clearly feeding off the energy in the S U, joking with the crowd and imploring them to ‘get drunk and enjoy freshers’, before leading a frenzied rendition of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, their best track to date. A chance meeting with him outside proved him to be a friendly and chatty guy, obviously enjoying new found success, which lends him and his band a definite sense of likeable sincerity.
Judging by the amount of eager female freshers who gravitated towards the stage immediately after Futures exit, One Night Only (and in particular their rather easy on the eye frontman, Burberry Model George Craig) were the undisputed stars of the evening. Taking to the stage with relative newbie ‘Forget My Name’, their brand of radio indie pop seemed infused with a new lease of life in the live setting, prompting many a jolly sing-along : although admittedly, this could be down the drunkenness and sheer teenage lust at the sight of the 5 shaggy haired pin ups rocking out before them. Whatever the cause, by the time the opening chords of ‘Can You Feel It Tonight’ were struck up, pints and alcopops’s alike were aloft and swaying away, showing that One Night Only are not just for girls. Closing the evening with a triumphant run through of classic ‘Just for Tonight’ (They do seem to like to emphasise the ‘Tonight only’ element of their band, don’t they?) the band left swiftly, but not without leaving a firm impression and a satisfied smile upon the audience. Arctic Monkeys they may not be, but they certainly know how to put on a show.
|Me with Ant West of Futures|