The appetiser tonight is Joseph Hicklin, who goes under the moniker Death My Stampede. He`s a singer / songwriter from The Black Country who writes about love and labour, losing hope, regaining hope and his experience of the people and the country around him. He performed a short but enjoyable set that included an interesting cover of `The House of the Rising Sun` made famous by The Animals alongside his own compositions, of which `The Jungle` and the intense `Goliath the Man` stood out for me. He has a powerful voice which helps deliver his folk / Americana tinged tunes and has been featured on BBC Introducing. One to watch out for.
One of the best home-grown bands that are riding the crest of an upsurge in interest in Americana are London duo Ferris & Sylvester. Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester have released two EP`s “The Yellow Line” and ‘Made In Streatham’ which they self-produced in their South London flat. They are picking up a lot of media attention, the Streatham EP has clocked up over 2.5 million Spotify streams and The Guardian referred to them as “ Alt Simon & Garfunkel: dreamy pop with spiky sentiments” They are on their first headlining tour of The UK and Ireland and hit the second city midway through their jaunt, The show is sold out as have been most of the shows so far on this tour. The show kicks off with the dreamy love song of sorts “Save Yourself” from their debut release before “Better In Yellow” from the Streatham release.
A couple of newer songs “Vices” and “Good Man” are shared before the audience are asked to join in on the next song with hand claps and shouts to establish which city is the scariest on the tour. The song being “Burning River” written about their visit to Iceland. The beautiful “Sometimes” is aired before another couple of new songs”, a song that they relate to the January Blues “Bread Winner and a song about frustration “Golden” which has a slight jazzy feel and has this partisan crowd clapping along. It`s time for a cover with a faithful version of the Johnny Cash and June Carter classic “Jackson” which goes down extremely well. The show is closed out with another new song, the thumping “Superhuman” which has a hook line not dissimilar to Franz Ferdinand`s “Take Me Out” and the new single “Sickness” a wonderful heart-breaking ode.
There isn`t anywhere to go so the duo remain on stage and milk the deserved applause before playing what is in essence a two-song encore. “Flying Visit” is another new song an is absolutely mesmerising. The final track is the up tempo “London`s Blues”
I have to say I was quite blown away at times by this duo, they seem to be doing everything right by writing good songs, slowly building a following and have also benefited from exposure via BBC Introducing sessions, where some of the newer tracks can be heard. This pair seem to be on the cusp of something big