Venue: Rotherham Trades Club
New music: new circuit. The concept of bringing new signed bands, starting on their musical journeys to smaller, intimate venues outside the usual big UK cities is a brilliant idea. Creativity can and should flourish anywhere.
There’s something very charming about going to see groups play in smaller venues. The interaction, the personal touches, the chats with the audience and the fact that there are no physical barriers between the act and their fans creates a very different atmosphere; one of trust and intimacy.
A confident young man, Fred Page takes to the stage with nothing but himself and his Martin acoustic guitar and sings his heart out to the few but enthralled, assembled audience. Chatting in between songs, he breaks through the inevitable uneasy ‘first act atmosphere’ and gets the crowd on his side, charming them with his soaring vocals on self-penned songs such as Concrete. It is never easy starting off the night and apparently un-phased by the task he left the crowd wanting more.
Eliza and the Bear were billed as the second act of the night and filled the small stage with six band members, including a pianist and trumpet player. Excited to hear what this unusual mix of instruments would produce, the crowd all got up to dance in front of the stage as they belted out their melodic, euphoric brand of pop/rock. Filled with a bursting energy that their records just don’t convey, they exceeded all expectations in coaxing the crowd out of their seats, appearing to forget themselves for their all too short set playing their new single It Gets Cold.
Rounding up what had been a great night of new music, Sons & Lovers were set to finish up. Back out of their seats the audience were right up at the front of the stage, singing along with their songs most notably Ghosts and Set My Heart. We’d had a folk/ acoustic vibe followed by a melodic rock sound and now dance/ electronic rock sound. All very different to one another but somehow blended perfectly.
They had indeed brought new music to a smaller part of the country that wouldn’t normally host gigs of that type. They had each played excellent sets, which were appreciated by all who attended. There was an air of frustration that bands of such quality deserved a bigger audience, but there is defying the core reason behind the tour. There is no doubt these bands could fill out bigger venues, when going outside of the norm you’re going to face struggles. All at the Trades Club welcomed them with open arms and thoroughly enjoyed what they had to offer, I suspect next time we see any of these acts in any other setting it will be packed to the rafters.
View full gallery of live gig images: click here.
– Charlie Barker