The weather made it feel like it was still in the dark recesses of winter outside, even in the early hours of the night. But in every dark corner of Fruit there was someone feverish with eager anticipation.
LUMER opened the night with a heavy drum beat and an upsurge of guitars. It was the perfect way to set the scene for one hell of a noisy night: a night of pure fast-paced DIY rock.
So powerful was LUMER’s opening that after one song Alex Evans’ bass string went and he called went out for a replacement. I’d enjoyed the first track, warming quickly to the band, but worried at this point that they would lose the crowd so quickly into their set. Fortunately, after a brief moment of silence, guitarist Benjamin Jackson relaxed into the situation, continuing to play as he sat atop one of the TV sets abandoned on stage.
And so fervent a set did they have, that Benjamin’s guitar also struggled to maintain itself, a string snapping in the final song.
Their sound is heavy, the trio all incredibly energetic. Sadly, where I was stood wasn’t great for the acoustics, the sound somewhat distorted; though I could see the positive reaction of the crowd. LUMER are certainly ones I will want to watch out for again – the perfect openers for two bands I already have a strong affiliation with. They play Sesh on April 19th.
La Bête Blooms were up next. I’ve been a fan of both LIFE and La Bête Blooms for some time, and never considered putting them on the same bill. However, as soon as I saw their names side by side, I realised how well they supported each other in ethos and in sound. Both are bands who exist on a pure love of music, featuring significant names within the Hull music scene and producing such wonderful tracks which you can enjoy recorded and live.
Both bands also bring something new to the stage every time I see them. After the gig, Daniel Mawer commented that it was great to see their first crowd surfer. But for me it was Daniel himself who made an impression. Dropping his guitar for the final track, he stepped forward, crawling to the barrier as his piercing vocals ripped through the crowd. The Daniel you meet off-stage is a contrast to that which you see on stage, the whole band fuelled by their passion to produce music and encapsulating every confidence which comes with producing something amazing. It was amazing to see this in this new light, engaging with the audience without the guitar as a barrier.
I have to say that I still prefer La Bête Blooms in a more intimate setting – their acoustic sets where you can focus more on the changing waves of vocals. But that’s what’s great about this band, they adapt so easily to their setting: whether the full five-piece, minus a member or gaining one, or whether taking to the small or large stage, they always deliver.
Brewed in Hull: LIFE stepped up the stage to face an audience frothed up with frenzied excitement.
They were introduced by Joe Hakim, a spoken word artist, who reflected the poetry of the bands lyrics, which analyse the society we exist within. Jumping straight into ‘Crawling’, the words mirrored that of Joe’s so perfectly and utilised just some of the ways in which to express one’s beliefs and opinions.
Always bringing such energy to the stage, I’ve seen LIFE perform amazing set after amazing set. The entire crowd were in motion for most of their songs, singing along to the singles and reaching out to the band who received them with a heated embrace. Mez was a whirlpool of seemingly unending energy, both he and Mick using as much of the stage area as possible.
‘Popular Music’ has received some fantastic radio airplay, and you could see why as they performed it to the busy room. Every word was echoed back from the audience as they moved as one chaotic formation. It’s a funky pop tune with all the chaos and critique of true punk.
The set concluded with Mick standing alone, centre-stage, guitar flung into the air as it screeched out the final sounds from the stage, resonating with the final chords of energy as the room simmered.
All three bands expressed their enjoyment at the end of the night, and, as the room spilled out to other venues across the city, this sensation hung in the air. A fantastic night which celebrated some of the best of this city’s musical offerings, and an ideal way to celebrate the release of LIFE’s new single.
Words | Nix Chidlow
Images | Paul Newbon