Any gig which has bands on the bill that you are a fan of has to be good right? Well I had very high hopes for this one. I have had the pleasure of reviewing a couple of recent songs by headliners, Skylights and a couple by another great York band Honours. This would also be the third time I had seen Honours play live. The venue was the wonderfully quirky Crescent in York. First up were a band that I had not heard of before this show, Fond. So two Scotsmen and a Yorkshire walk into a band and call it Fond. Apologies for the poor humour but I am not particularly fond of this lot. They are very competent musicians and some of their songs, particularly their set closer strive to raise the spirit of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. It is an admirable intention but one which ultimately failed for me. In my opinion this lot might be better suited to open for a Who tribute band in a small pub.
Honours were next and as they always seem to do they played a set that could easily have been from a headline slot. Two songs that are now becoming classics; “Freedom” and “Duchess” had the crowd, which included members of Hello Operator, bouncing hard. Daniel and Tom power a finely tuned rhythm section engine which under pins the riff laden road laid down by Struan. On top of that is Jordan’s excellent vocal which could power a Formula 1 car. They also showcased a new song, “Gone” which might be their next single. It was apparently not even a week old and for me it stole their set, a truly stunning tune. Once again this raises my expectations in anticipation of the first Honours album, whenever that might arise.
Tonight’s headliners Skylights are on the comeback trail and this show is a big part of that comeback. So was it worth Rob and Rob and Myles Soley returning? Damned right it was! Their first two releases, “YRA 2018” and “What You Are” sound excellent in the recorded versions but when played live they take flight with the power of a supersonic plane. There were a lot of additional vocalists in the crowd for “YRA”. Influenced by the likes of Oasis and perhaps the Verve they also put their own personality on some great songs. “Drive Me Away” singularly failed to drive anyone away and kept us all rocking. I hope Skylights stick around for a bit longer this time! All in all this was another great night at the Crescent. Thanks to Turnbull for putting me on the guest list. It was great catching up with ace York music promoter Simon Pattinson again. Mr P how the hell did we manage to drink so much?
Public Service Announcement: All pictures are courtesy of my cheap Android Chinese mobile phone. Except the shot of the audience, that was supplied by Turnbull Skylight 🙂 Videos are sourced from YouTube. If you would like me to credit you as videographer or to remove them please let me know.
Hiya, Great review – thanks for posting.
Very similar thoughts to yours of the night:
FOND are clearly capable musicians (as demonstrated by the covers they played) but their own music came across as odd. Not quirky-odd, not eccentric-but-enjoyable-odd just plain odd. When the singer announced the next song was about life on a north see oil rig, I immediately thought well that’s something I can’t relate to – and switched off, personally and my camera as well. And the bassist effectively agreed, saying it had “limited audience appeal”. I always go by the mantra there’s only two types of music; music you like and music you don’t. On this occasion, Fond’s music wasn’t for me.
So next up were York locals HONOURS who were definitely in the “music I like“ category. It was the first time I’d actually seen Honours although I’d been listening to them on SoundCloud for a while and was expecting good things. And they didn’t disappoint. I thought their live performance at The Crescent was top notch; fantastic Oasis-esque swagger from the lead singer, great tunes – Everybody Knows, Duchess and Freedom are belters – and the lads have great chemistry on stage. I always like to see a band enjoying playing their music and Honours were clearly enjoying their tunes. Can see good things for these lads going forward.
And then headliners SKYLIGHTS took it to the next level. I’d also heard a lot of the Skylights tunes on SoundCloud and was looking forward to their live set. After coming on stage to the strains of Marching On Together, ‘Britannia’ was a great starting track, followed by ‘What You Are’ – their latest release, another banger of a tune. Next up were ‘Take Me Somewhere’, ‘Nothing Left To Say’ and ‘Drive Me Away’. This band put on a performance and the crowd loved it. Myles Soley’s theatrics and sheer physical impact on drums was great to watch, Johnny Scarisbrick delivered a huge driving bass, and the blend of Turnbull Smith’s searing fretwork and Rob Scarisbrick’s punchy vocals were the perfect combination of power and rhythm to get the crowd up and dancing.
The last two tracks on the setlist were huge: ‘YRA’ is a maaaaaassssive anthem deserving of a Glastonbury-sized crowd chanting it, and then to finish with the hypnotic mantra on ‘Reverb Nation’ was worthy of some of the best bands I’ve watched over 30 years of going to gigs. Skylights are clearly a class band and already I’m look forward to seeing them again. 10/10
Also big thanks to the ‘With Just A Hint Of Mayhem’ blog for posting the Honours ‘Duchess’ video on this review. It’s great to get the word out about these bands and support them. There’s a few more tracks from the night that I’ve uploaded on the LeedsGigs YouTube channel now, in case you wanted to link those as well:
Not sure if I can post links on this comment but here goes:
Everybody Knows https://youtu.be/dprWammRX3Y
Reverb Nation (RGB glitch remix) https://youtu.be/VUdN5iSBkn8
Cheers – and thanks for the support you give to the bands you write about on your blog.
LikeLiked by 1 person