Live: The Lumineers @ Brixton Academy

Hailing from Denver in Colorado, The Lumineers were born out of tragedy in 2002 when founding members Wesley Schultz (lead vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, percussion) came together to write music following the impromptu death of Fraites’ brother and Schultz’s best friend Josh aged just 19 from a drugs overdose. This pairing was to have a happier ending, and now joined by Neyla Pekarek (Cello, backing vocals), Stelth Ulvang (piano, banjo, and much more) and Byron Issacs (bass guitar, backing vocals) they have become a charismatic five-piece, flourishing in mainstream success across the globe.

The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

The band’s sound is true to their Mile-High City roots, much more on the folk side of rock, and offering upbeat sing-a-long tunes accompanied by banjo which often leaves them compared as an American version of Mumford and Sons. After a slow start, their self-titled first album received huge accolades on both sides of the pond following the success of single Ho Hey, going platinum in the US and nominated for a Grammy in 2013, whilst in the UK having sold almost half a million copies to date.

Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

After taking a year out from touring to hone new offerings in 2015, the band released second studio album Cleopatra earlier this month, and the much-awaited record looks set to be a bigger hit than the first, debuting at no. 1 on both the US Billboard and UK album charts. In celebration of their new music, the group are embarking upon a busy year on the road which will see them yo-yo between Europe, Canada and the US. I was lucky enough to catch them play their sole London show at the Brixton Academy to welcome their new material to an eager sell-out crowd.

Byron Isaacs (Kalpesh Patel)

Byron Isaacs (Kalpesh Patel)

Appearing on stage to rapturous applause, one imagines the quintet sat in a sun-drenched field, straw in mouth and guitars in hand as the men arrive in signature style t-shirts with braces and trilbys. Girl-next-door Pekarek joins them and greets her Cello with the sophistication it so deserves. Frontman Schultz dives straight into the 21-track set with new song Sleeping On The Floor, a powerful ballad about the struggles of arriving in a big city, silencing the crowd with heartfelt lyrics that many will empathise with only too well living in London.

Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

A thunderous drum beat heralds the start of the second song, driving the audience into a frenzy of claps, dancing and singing along to title-track from the new album, Cleopatra. As the Academy echoes with the words “late for the love of my life”, it amazes me how well the near 5,000 strong crowd can belt out the words just a few weeks after first hearing it, evidently already an anthem.

Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Reverting to old material, Ulvang leads Classy Girls on banjo keeping everyone singing, whilst Ho Hey increased the volume at least ten-fold. Co-written by Schultz and Fraites, it is a song about promise, about love, and one which I myself chose to play a part in my own wedding last year. Fraites came out from behind his drums for this one, joining Schultz up-front to support on tambourine. Every time I hear this song my only disappointment being that at 2.40 minutes, it is just over too quickly!

Jeremiah Fraites & Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Jeremiah Fraites & Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Schultz paused briefly to ask his fans in thick accent to “please video or picture the next song but after that please keep your phones in your pockets, is that a deal?” Agreeing, the concertgoers were treated to new tune Ophelia, before the pace mellowed for old tracks Dead Sea and Charlie Boy, introduced beautifully by Pekarek in the spotlight on Cello. Nostalgia continued as Schultz carried on alone with a stunning acoustic version of Slow It Down, before thanking the audience and showing appreciation for the crowd’s singing along “Every time we play at Brixton it’s really loud and we really appreciate it”.

Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

The set continued in alternation between old and new, audience enthusiasm not differing between the two proving the second album is as packed full of potential hits as the first. Angela had all present hollering “strangers in this town”, whilst Flowers In Her Hair ignited roars of “be in my eyes, be in my heart”. An enjoyable rendition of Bob Dylan’s influential and fast-paced 1965 hit Subterranean Homesick Blues followed.

Wesley Schultz & Byron Isaacs of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Wesley Schultz & Byron Isaacs of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

As the show reached its climax, the five lined the stage, taking to vocals for Big Parade before falling silent, heads bowed. Teasing the crowd for 10 seconds or so succeeded in rising the tempo further, threatening to lift the roof from the iconic venue. After Flapper Song and My Eyes all but Fraites left the stage, who remained to play piano instrumental track Patience.

The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Returning to thank all attending for spending the night with them, they played a three-song encore of Long Way From Home, Submarines and Stubborn Love. The band clearly enjoyed the show as much as I did, sharing hugs with each other at the end before Isaacs playfully made paper aeroplanes out of the setlists and fired them (badly) into the yearning hardcore of fans.

Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers (Kalpesh Patel)

The question is, does their new music continue in both the strength and musical direction of the first album? Absolutely it does. The raw folk grittiness remains if anything with a slightly more country edge. The feel good factor is ever-present, and I am left feeling that the new songs are that little bit more intimate, more personal and even more beautiful.

The Lumineers will now play a number of shows across Europe, returning to the UK for Glastonbury in June and Latitude Festival in July.

Live review of The Lumineers @ Brixton Academy by Lauren Patel on 24th April 2016. Photography by Kalpesh Patel.

Kalpesh has more music photography up on his flickr stream here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/somethingforkate

Live: Augustines @ Electric Ballroom Camden

Augustines are a band that have had nearly as many name changes as Spinal Tap: (“There was already a band in the East End called the Originals, so we became the New Originals”). Through the various shifts in identity, (Pela became Augustines became We Are Augustines re-became Augustines), two things have remained constant: the pairing of singer/songwriter/guitarist Billy McCarthy with multi-instrumentalist Eric Sanderson, and the passionate support of a loyal fan base.

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

The latter are out in force tonight at a sold-out Electric Ballroom. I’ve come with my friend Matthew, and he subscribes to the ethos of Augustines fan immersion. Last time out, his dedication extended to helping load the van. There’s photographic evidence, though he can’t actually remember doing it himself.

Rob Lynch (support to Augustines) performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Rob Lynch (support to Augustines) performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

But before Matthew and the other 1100 Augustinians here this evening indulge themselves, there’s a support to support. Tonight’s support to support is Rob Lynch, a singer/songwriter of notable talent, whose 2014 release All These Nights In Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul has received significant critical acclaim. The album is an intimate journey down some painful avenues, one of which includes the death of his father – a subject that was touched upon in conversation with the crowd. A tight set of solo acoustic guitar was well received by the audience. Lynch is currently on tour at venues throughout the UK, concluding at The Louisiana in Bristol on 18 May.

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

McCarthy, Sanderson and Augustines drummer Rob Allen were soon to emerge from a wall of smoke – and were met with wild anticipation and applause. They opened with Chapel Song, a number delivered through blinding strobes and pitch darkness. Much of the back catalogue references tragedy – McCarthy and his brother James bounced around various foster homes as children, victims of a drug-addicted mother, who died of an overdose when Billy was nineteen. James, who suffered with schizophrenia, committed suicide in 2009. Book Of James, a song of remarkable intimacy concerning the loss soon followed. McCarthy heard his lyrics sung back to him with fitting reverence. It must be extraordinarily moving to have that kind of power.

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Although it took a while to get going, we were soon subject to the crowd affinity with which Billy is rightly renowned. “Mr lighting man, can you turn the lights up; I wanna see these people”, he cried. The lighting man duly obliged with a blaze so intense you could practically see your bones through your hands – Bikini Atoll, A-Bomb testing style. Philadelphia, (The City Of Brotherly Love) followed. McCarthy didn’t need the lights to know his audience was there. The vocal support was intense and I suspected there were likely to be a few croaky voices in the morning.

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

The set was predominantly an electric affair, but was closed out with four consecutive acoustic numbers; the first of which, Landmine, was performed by McCarthy in isolation. This was followed by Now You Are Free, which was brilliantly staged. Starting from in front of the microphones, Billy commenced this song accompanied by reverential ‘shushes’ from the audience. Once quiet had been attained, the crowd began to sing along in hushed tones – ensuring that they never upstaged the performer. It was respectful and it was classy – two things sadly lacking in a number of the audiences that I hang out with these days. As the song progressed, Sanderson joined McCarthy at the front of the stage on guitar and Allen appeared with brushes on a solo snare.

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

The show closed with The Avenue from the eponymously titled 2014 album, Augustines. Billy told the masses that after the show he was going for something to eat and sought some recommendations from the locals. He asked for a show of hands to seek audience members that had previously joined him for an after-show kebab. I looked around and saw half the hands were in the air. I can believe it. I asked Matthew and he wasn’t sure if he’d ever indulged in a döner with the frontman. I suspect he has, he just hasn’t got any photographic evidence.

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Augustines performing at the Electric Ballroom Camden on 19 April 2016 (Simon Reed)

Live Review & Concert Photography by Simon Reed. See more of Simon’s photography on his personal website: www.musicalpictures.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Live: Tom Odell @ Islington Assembly Hall

Ivor Novello award-winning singer, songwriter and pianist Tom Odell is back. Following a whirlwind catapult into the music world over 2012 and 2013, with landmark milestones including a memorable Later… with Jools Holland performance, winning the Critics’ Choice Award at the BRITs, reaching number one with his debut album Long Way Down and, of course, that 2014 Songwriter of the Year Ivor Novello award, his star status seemed sealed.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Snippets of new music emerged in 2014 including Odell’s cover of The BeatlesReal Love, which was used for that year’s John Lewis Christmas television ad, but this year sees his return to form with sophomore LP Wrong Crowd being released in June, with its lead single of the same name out this month. To road-test the new material ahead of the album’s release, he kicked off an eight-date headline tour, playing intimate venues across six European and two US cities with his sole UK show at London’s Islington Assembly Hall.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Kicking off proceedings with the longest-titled song from Wrong Crowd, Still Getting Used To Being On My Own, the 25-year-old appeared on the North London stage donning a sharp suit, taking up position behind a black baby grand piano and encased in the shadows that would shroud his face from view for the entirety of his 70-minute set. Flanked by a bassist to his left and guitarist to his right, along with dual drum kits and a female backing singer to the rear, the sound certainly promised to be bigger this time around.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Screams erupted from the audience as the first few bars of 2013 single I Know rang out followed by Odell’s roar as drums and bass kicked in. New album title track Wrong Crowd was aired next, the most familiar of the new material garnering a warm reception from the crowd as its thumping beat played out over the pleasing piano intro, the song ending with a whistle-along outro. In a departure from his piano-led style, new track Concrete had the Chichester-native taking up position away from his piano, relying on Max Clilverd’s slow-blues guitar licks to sway along to, enticing screams from the female audience contingent.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

“Welcome” he said, addressing the crowd for the first time. “I’ve been working on this album for a long time and it feels fucking great to be back tonight” he continued. “We’re playing a lot of the songs from Wrong Crowd, I hope you like them” he said before launching into solo piano ballad Constellations. Heavy drumming kicked off Daddy and set the tone of this heavier cut from the new album, the crowd responding in-kind, particularly with Clilverd’s epic guitar solo closing the tune in dramatic fashion.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

An operatic piano opening of Can’t Pretend seemed someone reminiscent of a Muse tune, the debut album track slowly making its way to crescendo, the pent-up tension in both Odell and his crowd erupting with the familiar loud tune but leaving the 25-year-old still chained to his piano.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Jealousy is a jazz-influenced piano tune which would easily be at home in a 1920’s-themed speakeasy or outdoor summer picnic festival, but seemed to extinguish the fire Can’t Pretend had set in the crowd. A seemingly new piano melody led into hit single Another Love, the pang of recognition inducing screams and subsequent singing-along from the 800-strong crowd as the downbeat tune re-invigorated the audience.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

“Thank you for being very, very, very nice” the pianoman said to his audience before launching into the main set-closer, humble sentiments from a man who had been cued up to open for the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park before he was forced to pull out due to illness. A slow piano-led introduction led into the dance-influenced second cut from the sophomore release, Magnetised, the live rendition re-worked slightly to use the heavy, dual-drum setup to work the tune’s rhythm magic alongside Odell’s baby grand piano.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Odell returned to the stage for Long Way Down single Grow Old With Me ahead of set-closer Somehow, the new song  slowing things down before bursting back into loud life to close out the night.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

While lead single Wrong Crowd certainly pushes Odell’s boundaries, much of the new material seemed to fall short both in terms of sonic dynamism and its impact on the crowd, the impact somewhat compounded by Odell being chained to his piano. Hopefully, as with Magnetised, the recorded versions of these new songs add further dimensions which can translate to his live show in future.

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Tom Odell (Kalpesh Patel)

Odell plays shows in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich, Milan New York and LA over April and May before hitting up the European festival scene with stops at Nova Rock, Pinkpop, Pukkelpop and Hurricane festivals alongside his T In The Park appearance in July. Wrong Crowd is released on 10th June.

Watch the video for Wrong Crowd cut Magnetised here:

 

Live review of Tom Odell @ Islington Assembly Hall by Kalpesh Patel on 20th April 2016.

Kalpesh has more music photography up on his flickr stream here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/somethingforkate

Live: Nothing But Thieves @ Trinity Centre, Bristol.

 If Royal Blood and Muse had a baby, it would sound like Nothing But Thieves. Which is not meant to say that they’re directly generic but that they’re very talented. In fact, ridiculously so. The Trinity Centre in Bristol is sold out and full of eager, rowdy music fans, ready to see what the UK’s next big thing has to bring.

Joe Langridge-Brown, Guitarist of Nothing But Thieves (Natalie Lam)

Joe Langridge-Brown, Guitarist of Nothing But Thieves (Natalie Lam)

Showing the crowd abrasive guitar riffs that immediately juxtapose with soft melodies are Black Foxxes. Think Manchester Orchestra meets Brand New. Lyrically complex, deep in emotion and a cynical ethos that is apparent in their demeanour. Though traditionally emo, the Exeter three-piece trigger nothing but empathy from watchers.

On the other hand, Sundara Karma fill the room with sprightly indie hooks and a passion that can’t be duplicated. It’s clear that their musical career was initially intended purely as a creative outlet of feelings for themselves.  It is how people relate to their lyrics and the accessibility of the music that makes them such a likeable group.

Conor Mason, Singer of Nothing But Thieves (Natalie Lam)

Conor Mason, Singer of Nothing But Thieves (Natalie Lam)

It’s hard to tell if the high-decibel cheers are caused by the echoing of the venue’s church hall or if tonight’s crowd have such huge anticipation that they’re flooding the room and beyond with their excitement. Either way, Nothing But Thieves have caught this infectious energy and powerfully open their set with Itch, inconspicuously sliding into the vibrant Painkiller.

Singer, Conor Mason flexes his impressive vocal chords during emotion-evoking Graveyard Whistling, falsetto filled If I Get High, and melancholic Tempt You (Evactio), leaving everyone in an internal battle of whether to be green with envy or just complete awe.

James Price, Drummer of Nothing But Thieves (Natalie Lam)

James Price, Drummer of Nothing But Thieves (Natalie Lam)

 Nothing But Thieves have played the entire set with nothing but smiles on their faces. Those five genuine grins represent more than just gratefulness, but the vision of a promising future, consisting of sell-out area tours and festival headlines. It’s a realistic dream and it won’t be long before we witness it happen.

Photography and Live Review by Natalie Lam

Nothing But Thieves at Trinity Centre, Bristol on 9th April 2016

 

Live: Frightened Rabbit @ St John-at-Hackney

Frightened Rabbit live at St John-at-Hackney.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scottish indie folk quintet Frightened Rabbit are back. Three years since their last album, and a year in the making, Painting Of A Panic Attack was released Friday 8th April 2016. And with The National Producer Aaran Dessner’s input, it’s clear there’s life in the old rabbit yet.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

The band started life in Selkirk in 2003 as a solo project for lead vocalist, guitarist and song writer Scott Hutchison, named after a nickname his mother gave him as a child because of his chronic shyness. Over the years the original Frightened Rabbit has become something more of a Watership Down, the first to swell the outfit was Scott’s brother, noisy and talented drummer and backing vocalist Grant Hutchison who joined Scott back in 2004, followed shortly after by Billy Kennedy and Andy Monaghan, both on bass guitar and keyboards, with Billy also covering backing vocals. Simon Liddell on guitar is the most recent addition, the multi layering of some of the Rabbit’s material requiring more strings to their bow.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Frightened Rabbit have long attracted something of a cult following, and whilst early albums, in particular Midnight Organ Fight, are much revered by fans, the band only really started to creep into national consciousness with the release of 4th album Pedestrian Verse in 2013, which reached number 9 in the UK album chart. The Rabbits are back on tour testing out the new material, and I managed to catch them at their sole sell-out London gig in East London’s church-cum-gig venue St John at Hackney.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Inside, the waiting fans are clutching their beer cans and peering into the haze in the packed church as the Rabbits come out and get straight into Get Out, second track on the new album and already released as a single. A typically bittersweet Frightened Rabbit tune about addictive love being unhealthy and wonderful at the same time, it gets the crowd nicely warmed up. After checking everyone is ‘alright’ and thanking us for coming out, they launch into the more raucous Holy from previous album Pedestrian Verse.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

The crowd warmed up still more when they realised that what followed this was Modern Leper, an old favourite from album Midnight Organ Fight. Scott then rather shyly  announced the new album, and followed with two of its tracks back-to-back,  Woke Up Hurting and I Wish I Was Sober, joking before the latter as he swigged from his beer can that ‘it’s not coffee, it’s tea……….with methadone in it’.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

The set continued with a mix of favourites from previous albums, with the occasional new album track slotted in between, Break going down particularly well. Back to old classic Head Rolls Off, and Scott announced ‘Very much looking forward to playing this one, please forgive me’ and raised his eyes to heaven in a good natured nod to the venue before singing the first line ‘Jesus is just a Spanish boys name / How come one man got so much fame’.

Scott Hutchinson, Billy Kennedy and Andy Monaghan of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson, Billy Kennedy and Andy Monaghan of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Upbeat desolation is what Frightened Rabbit do best, and don’t they do it well. Scott’s incredibly poetic lyrics don’t shy from the darker musings of the more unsavoury aspects of the human condition, and it’s all so direct. He’s thinking aloud, and that boy clearly thinks. But yet it’s joyous. Dessner’s production input on the latest material is evident in a more graceful, slightly less raucous sound, but the spirit and the essence of the band is still very much alive.

Billy Kennedy and Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Billy Kennedy and Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

The gig really began to crescendo when the first notes of Old Old Fashioned struck up, and how the crowd roared. As band members Billy and Andy swapped out, with Billy taking the keyboard and Andy the bass, Scott mounted the pulpit to preach ‘it takes more than fucking someone you don’t know’ to Keep Yourself Warm. There was no need for Scott to gesture to the crowd to sing along. They already were.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

There was certainly no silence either as the band left the stage, with the crowd chorusing Loneliness And The Scream in anticipation of an encore. Scott alone appeared back on stage to perform new single from Panic Attack album, Die Like A Rich Boy, treating us to a vulnerable and raw acoustic solo which cooled everyone down nicely in anticipation of old stompers to close, Woodpile and signature track The Loneliness And The Scream.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Lauren Patel)

As we made our way out over the beer can strewn floor, we had that feeling. That feeling where you go ‘something good just happened there’. That buzz of a good gig. Frightened Rabbit may have cleaned up their sound on their newest album but the heart and soul of the band, the upbeat despair, is unchanged. And for that, Frightened Rabbit fans, be thankful.

Live review of Frightened Rabbit @ St John at Hackney by Helen Mallaby on 14th April 2016. Photographs by Lauren Patel.

 

Live: PVRIS @ Cardiff University

PVRIS (PARIS) live at the Great Hall, Cardiff University

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

It would be completely incorrect to say that PVRIS are an overnight sensation.  Going from playing to a mere 200 people to a sold out 2000 capacity venue within a year seems like a fluke but this certainly isn’t the case for PVRIS. Tonight, the Boston three-piece are ready to prove to the people of Cardiff what a combination of hard work, talent and endless touring can do to a pleasantly humble group of Millennials.

Introducing the evening are Alvarez Kings. They share similarities to PVRIS, which classes them as an appropriate support act; hints of synthetic and electronic sounds with heartfelt lyrics. There are nods and claps all round from the crowd, which is evidence enough that they’ve won over tonight’s audience.

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

K.Flay provides a predominantly fun yet easy listen for the crowd. Think Charli XCX, only lyrically darker and perhaps less energetic. With a unique and slightly raspy tone to her voice, her (only) narrowly more radio-friendly sound is what sets them apart from the other bands tonight.

Alex Babinski, guitarist of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Alex Babinski, guitarist of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

If the towering banner depicting PVRIS’ debut album White Noise wasn’t indication enough that they’re tonight’s headliners, the deafening roar of fans as the band come on is. Singer, Lyndsey Gunnulfsen aka Lynn Gunn, guitarist Alex Babinski and bassist Alex MacDonald triumphantly take to the stage.

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Starting off with album opener, Smoke, the echo of the singing back is hauntingly loud and clear, but this isn’t quite yet enough. They want more and they follow this with standout song, St. Patrick. Now it really kicks off. The chaos unfolds and PVRIS are thriving off this enthusiasm, which is continuous through White Noise and Fire.

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Slowing down the movement are tracks Only Love and Holy, played predominantly on acoustic guitar, adds another dimension to the evening, which is incredibly distinct from the usual alt rock electronic vibe that they’re known for. Throwing in this extra dynamic pushes the set over from being great to really great. Thinning down the texture during this track boasts Lynn’s gritty and commanding vocals.

Alex Babinski, guitarist of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Alex Babinski, guitarist of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

It’s difficult to say which one of PVRIS’ songs is the most successful, as they’re all equally well received as each other. From the thundering Let Them In to the lively My House, not one person would be able to tell that this is their first headline UK tour and set in Cardiff.

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

Lynn Gunn, Singer of PVRIS (Natalie Lam)

If you hadn’t heard of PVRIS until now. . . firstly, where have you been? Secondly, get listening. They’re about to get big. Very, very big.

Live Review and Photography by Natalie Lam of PVRIS (pronounced PARIS) at Great Hall, Cardiff University on 8th April 2016.