REWS / ANIMAL SONS / THE HUNTING CIRCUS - The Soundhouse, Leicester 10.11.17

SAMANTHA LLOYD / GRAHAM WEBB

(Photos: Graham Webb Images / Samantha Lloyd Photography)

 

Having never attended a gig at the Soundhouse in Leicester prior to tonight, we weren’t really sure what to expect. Standing outside waiting for the doors to open we were a little apprehensive, thinking at first that the gig had been cancelled last minute due to the lack of people waiting for the doors to open. Finally, we gained entrance and encountered a modestly sized venue with a long galley style standing area in front of the stage. What struck us the most was the lack of patrons within the venue as the first band took to the stage.

 

The Hunting Circus are a trio from Milton Keynes, put together from remnants of previous bands, Party In Paris and Forever Can Wait, since forming they have been writing and recording at The Ranch in Southampton with Neil Kennedy (Funeral For a Friend, Creeper). They have only recently started doing live shows with tonight’s offering being the third since their formation. They have a forthcoming debut EP due for release very soon.

 

Tonight’s performance seemed both comfortable yet energetic, and they appeared really at home on the stage despite only playing to a small audience. Their stage presence and overall sound could have been enhanced with the addition of a second guitarist to alternate between lead and rhythm, adding an extra layer of volume, depth, and intensity to their overall sound. Their sound is very indie/alt-rock which is a great precursor to the headline band. With more rehearsals under their belt and a more polished performance set against a strong work ethic to accompany their upcoming EP, we can seriously see these guys creating their own niche within the industry.

 

Their set consisted of 7 original songs, ‘White Lies’, ‘Ghosts’ an upbeat bouncy track with catchy lyrics and vocals, the ’30 Second Song’, ‘Witches’, their ballad ‘Slow One’ really hit a chord with us  and was our personal favourite of their set, ‘Dance’ and ‘Priorities’, bringing their energetic and enthusiastic set to a close.

 

The Hunting Circus are:

Jack Betts – Vocals and guitar

Rich Mac – Bass and back vocals

Toby Leonard – Drums and backing vocals

 

For more details follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHuntingCircus/

 

The second band of the evening is the four piece alt-rock band from Manchester called Animal Sons. Following up from their debut single release ‘In The Dark’ released April 2017, this quartet put on a unique performance accentuated by borderline choral vocals from Shamyra Abbott, and a melodic back line which blended well to entertain the modest sized sprinkling of attendees. This is a band that would work well on a bigger stage with more room and a more receptive audience. Visually, there seems to be something lacking with the overall aesthetics of the performance, but not to detract from the lead vocalist who looked every bit the part of a seasoned artist. Musically, some of their tracks felt almost dark and haunting with undertones of emotional turmoil. Though the performance seemed well polished there wasn’t any stand out exceptional moments which would have left a lasting memory of the gig. Maybe a larger stage and a longer set would have presented this opportunity.

 

During their almost 30 minute set they performed 8 original tracks, with the opening offering being an instrumental called ‘Intro’. The remainder of their set consisted of ‘Go’, ‘Get Through’, ‘Why’, ‘Under the Water’, ‘LUV’, ‘Hold On’ released as a single in September 2017, and ‘In The Dark’, the lead single from their upcoming EP due for release in November. For information and tickets for their EP launch show click here.

 

Animal Sons are:

Shamyra Abbott - Vocals

Michael Craig - Guitar

Jake Steele - Bass

Liam Comer - Drums

 

Rews, a duo from Belfast/London are the headliners this evening, and despite the poor turnout, they played a set that was full of energy, bounce, charisma and confidence. Having played the John peel Stage at Glastonbury this year it’s clear to see why their live set received such acclaim. Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams harmonise their vocals as well on a live stage as they do on their debut album ‘Pyro’ (for the full album review click here). Their vocals are clear and strong as they kick off their set with ‘Let it Roll’. Unfortunately Shauna’s guitar plummeted to the ground at the end of the track, hurting her leg a little but, as any pro should, she shook it off and carried on playing the set regardless of the part dead leg that she had given herself.

 

They progressed through their set, adding in a dash of humour, a splash of silly, and loads of giggles, especially when introducing the track ‘Death Yawn’ whereby Shauna tells a story of the night before and their creepy hotel where the blood stains on the curtains reminded them of a scene from a horror movie. Needless to say they didn’t hang around long, so ‘Death Yawn’ is a song about creepy people in hostels and I’m sure we can all relate in some way to that level of creepiness. ‘Shake Shake’ compelled to Shauna to invite the audience to shake to the music, yet despite the vast amount of room to dance every member of the modest audience remained in their spot.

 

We were thrown a slight curve ball in the shape of ‘Muse’ a track that doesn’t feature on their album Pyro but I think it really should have. It’s a great track, its upbeat and couldn’t help but sway and tap along to it. Throughout the set Shauna is both amusing in her humour and interesting in her engagement of the audience. Their sound is full and compelling, rich and entertaining and after talking to the girls at the end of the set they are the nicest people, full of chatter, full of smiles and they genuinely enjoy performing their music. It’s such a joy to see so much excitement and young talent on the music scene.

 

If you get chance to catch them on their headline album tour please do so. For more information click here, or follow Rews on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearerewsmusic/

 

Rews are:

Shauna Tohill – Vocals and guitar

Collette Williams – Drums and vocals

 

Set List:

Let It Roll

Violins

Can You Feel It

Muse

Your Tears

Shake, Shake

Miss You in the Dark

Death Yawn

Rip Up my Heart

We Explode

Shine

 

 

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