Fatherson: Lending Room, Leeds

Packed onto the small stage, four in a row, local Leeds College of Music band REED opened the gig and throwing life into the space. Their powerful riffs woke everyone up and their sound (similar to early Lower than Atlantis with less arrogance and more friendliness) feels new and fun. REED have cracked the age-old struggle of how to successfully gain an audience’s attention. Vocalist Michael Smith says “it’s so difficult to get an audience to listen to you” but they’ve definitely found how to do it. With sweet melodies that could be straight from a Two Door Cinema Club song, paired with slick teamwork, the crowd are dancing along within minutes. The song ‘Crossfire’ stands out, with its effortless blending of heavy and pop which the crowd seemingly enjoy. By the time they launch into their slower song, ‘Drowning’, where many support bands lose steam, they’ve hooked the crowd and have them waving their lighters in the air on cue. Watch out because these young men are onto big things; refusing to just be ‘another’ support band and making the stage their own.

You can catch them at The Lending Room on October 26th; or catch them elsewhere on tour

When The Pearl Harts arrive on stage their heavy rock plays to a smaller crowd, feeling a little out of place on this bill, and slightly underwhelming in comparison to their predecessors. Yet, they still throw all their energy into their show. With all the hair flicks and effervescence of an 80’s rock band the sheer skill of these two women clearly impresses. But their style, essentially a female version of Royal Blood, feels like nothing new.

They don’t drum up much crowd support and so their stage presence feels lacklustre. Even the vocalist, Kirsty, herself declares that this is the most she’s ever spoken on stage, which, you can tell. At times their aggressive guitar shredding and vocal screams feel scary in the faces of the crowd who came to see a band like Fatherson. Though, their set improves with their more unique later songs, particularly ‘Rush’, which finally sees the crowd get moving to its sleazy rock and roll, it is not quite enough to win the people over.

 The Pearl Harts -  George Yonge Photography

The Pearl Harts - George Yonge Photography

 The Pearl Harts -  George Yonge Photography

The Pearl Harts - George Yonge Photography

Fatherson are welcomed back to Leeds by an anticipating, eager, crowd which feels more like a family reunion than a concert. Despite not being their usual line-up, (being one member down and vocalist Ross Leighton’s brother filling in on drums), they don’t let it faze them. Their melancholic brand of Scottish rock has the crowd singing along instantly. The vocals and lyrics carry their songs, they tug on your heartstrings and touch your soul. Tonight you can feel just how much the crowd connect with the band; the atmosphere in the room being almost infectious. Every song is accompanied by the crowd, who sing along harmoniously to every word. Clear fan favourite ‘Just Past the Point of Breaking’, has the crowd singing louder than the band, creating an angelic, choral sound.

Then they hit you with the chunky riffs, heavy basslines and upbeat drums which have the crowd going crazy. Fatherson have the ability to make you headbang and cry within the same song, taking you on a journey of highs and lows. Ross encourages everyone to shake hands with each other, a gimmick which feels homely with a band that make you feel like family. The huge smiles on the band’s faces shows us that Leeds feels like their home. Incredibly the show only manages to gain in energy. Throughout the crowd friends are hugging and lovers are kissing, mesmerised by the band as they launch into their new song; throwing so much energy into it, it leaves them exhausted. By the time they play ‘I Like Not Knowing’ the crowd have already anticipated it and begin to echo Ross’s opening harmony of “Oh No” before he has even begun it himself.

Fatherson’s melodies feel so fresh but their sound roots itself in the quintessential elements of Scottish rock, found in bigger bands such as Biffy Clyro. Tonight you can see for yourself this fusion of old and new, happy and sad, as they find their niche by seamlessly switching between the two. As an encore Ross returns to the stage alone to play ‘Joanna’ completely acapella, finally giving in to the member of the crowd who had been shouting for it all night. This spontaneity really puts the icing on the cake of this show by making it feel extra special. The beautiful energy and connection seen between Ross and the audience as they harmonise together is almost unbelievable it is so pure and even he himself declares at the end of the song “I’ve never done that before”.

Maybe it’s in their name, maybe it’s in their nature, but with songs that are ready to fill big spaces, Fatherson’s fresh bright spark is a real familial affair.