As Communion’s New Faces tour hit Liverpool for the second night of its countrywide tour, Getintothis’ Tom Konstantynowicz was in the audience for a stellar night of fresh talent.
Communion – the label and promoter – have been running the New Faces tour landing in Liverpool’s Studio 2 tonight for a couple of years now. It’s always good for unearthing a couple of hidden gems and tonight maintains that trend.
Attached to Parr Street Studios, where everyone from The Stone Roses to The Spice Girls have recorded, the venue is intimate, dressed like a studio, complete with red ‘on air’ light. The acts are meandering round the small area in front of the stage and in the separate bar. It all feels a bit exclusive.
Jack Watts is a 20 year old from Brighton whose voice is his main weapon – an aching tone that has shades of Jeff Buckley in the way he flits in and out of falsetto at will. His new EP Red Shortbread forms the backbone of his set and is truly promising material but it’s his Chase ‘n’ Status cover that dazzles the most.
There’s a good crowd too, even this early on. Nobody plays Liverpool anymore is a common gripe nowadays, maybe some of the pitiful crowds lately have contributed to that, but there’s no evidence here. It’s almost a sell-out and most seem to have made it down early.
Dan Owen, the second of tonight’s new faces is even treated to some rowdy foot stomping at the end of his set, although he did tell everyone to do it. He saved his best for last with a bluesy number echoing the tones of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. He played a harmonica as well, it was all pretty standard troubadour stuff.
An all-male cast makes up the bill for this tour, it doesn’t feel as sexist as the NME though, who also found no place for girls in their new music series. The audience is mostly female unsurprisingly, even less surprising when Flyte come on with four-part harmonies better than anything The Backstreet Boys auto-tune ever mustered, looking really, really cool as well, it has to be said.
There are a couple of shrieks at the front, from girls who look quite young. There’s a bit of a boyband vibe, schoolgirls who are too cool to like One Direction are into bands like these, The 1975 and the like. As soon as they played a couple of songs though, it became clear they’re better than that lazy labelling. Faithless is the best song any new British band has made all year. Honestly.
It would be hard to follow Flyte, they were that good. Seafret came on all understated and you didn’t have faith in them. They didn’t look as stylish, they kind of looked like Simon and Garfunkel. Singer Jack Sedman’s voice is like liquid gold however, something really outstanding. They’ve got the songs as well, Oceans is being cried out for by a girl stage-side who wants it before her train comes. Skimming Stones is another particular highpoint. Worthy bill-toppers.
A small piece of whimsical observation that sums up the night then, there was a girl stood in the crowd with her dad, clutching a Flyte vinyl that he’d bought her, they both looked like they’d enjoyed the show as much of each other. It was just nice.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Olivia Hayes.