There are moments in everybody’s life where the feeling of advancing age strikes suddenly. A crippling descent into a dark world of terror and mortality, it is most commonly triggered by the realization that somebody younger than you is excelling in a deeply enviable position, an 18-year-old player being picked to play football for England, for instance, or somebody sailing solo around the world. In this situation you can’t help but ask, “What have I done with my life?” This feeling was amplified unimaginably when, at a recent One Night Only gig, I realized that not only the whole band, but also the majority of the audience, were considerably younger, slimmer and better dressed than me. And not just that, the band were good. Really good.
This group of local lads have been gathering the kind of accolades that would make any new band rejoice: Zane Lowe dubbed them a “great-sounding band” and Steve Lamacq, who chose them as the support for The Maccabees at his Lamacq In The City night in York last week, made their demo ‘Just for Tonite’ his demo of the week back in January. This is by no means undeserved praise. The aforementioned ‘Just for Tonite’ comes on like The Killers if they had never been introduced to Bruce Springsteen, with a pop sensibility and a screaming synth intro that stirs the already excited pubescent crowd into a frenzy. Suddenly, the giggly group of surely sober-ish teens becomes a seething mass, throwing itself from one side of Fibbers to the other. This is the sort of dedication and all-out worship for a band that can only come before the onset of late-teen apathy, and this is what seems to have carried the band this far.
Elsewhere, live highlight ‘You and Me’ has the anthemic quality that comes from an inspired use of handclaps, arpeggiated synths and a sing-along chorus. They even fit in a second verse that sounds like a bluegrass take on The Coral at their most sea-shanty-esque.
This lot are certainly one to watch, and with the buzz still hanging around their demo, the band are spending some time in the studio recording an as-yet-untitled debut album. As the night wears on, it is easy to get caught up with the over-excited crowd. The enthusiasm is contagious, even for an aged pretender to their raucous new scene.
Fortunately some semblance of normality returns as we leave Fibbers and pass a couple of the audience members huddled outside cursing about how late their mums are in coming to collect them. Soon this bunch of kids are going to be graduating from their schools, taking. One Night Only with them as they graduate from a headline slot at their local venue to take
over the country.