The second night of their November tour, LIFE performed their hometown gig metres away from the space in which they usually rehearse.
Last time I saw LIFE perform at the Adelphi, it was for the venue’s birthday celebrations. It was packed so tight I would have been more comfortable with my hands in my neighbour’s pockets. This experience was bound to be contrast with that. A Thursday night, I’d expected it to be quiet, but there was just the right collection of supporters in order to create a comforting and sociable buzz.
Supported by Witty’s Passage and Babies, there was time to get a couple of drinks and settle into the evening before the co-headlining bands set to the stage. I attended with a fellow contributor for Browse Magazine. I had planned not to work the event, attending as an encouraging fan. Alas, at the last minute we couldn’t get a photographer, so I took on this role. I had one aim: get a shot of Mick which wasn’t a terrible mess of blur.
We entered as Witty’s Passage performed, greeted by Mez, and took a seat next to the merchandise table. One massive bonus to a midweek gig is that you can usually get a decent place to park yourself. But we couldn’t help feel somewhat saddened by the gap in front of the stage. For the musicians, it is always wonderful to see crowds gather as close as they can. I knew, though, that this wouldn’t hinder our LIFE.
Storms, promoting their EP on the tour, came across as aptly named. Their song ‘Shame’ is a mixture of soft and heavy vocals. A track accompanied by a soulful beat and fast-paced instrumentals, it rang around my head even as I rode in the taxi home.
Heavy sounds and a harmonic clash of vocals, there was barely a break between tracks as they swam from one song to the next. The guitarist, Felix Howes, did stop at one point to compliment Witty’s Passage and Babies, stating that Hull has “got some f*cking talent”. My favourite track was ‘Swell’, which started with a calm welcoming instrumental and then pulled you into the riptide of noise between verses. Their set concluded with a cover of ‘My Girl’, the remains of their energy thrown into the final chords, leaving amps still ringing as they stepped from the stage.
Though both bands fit into the genres of rock and punk, their sounds are very different. Storms are a loud, powerful force, whereas LIFE are a whirlwind of energy and charisma. Both empowering and mesmerising, creating a sound which pushes its way into your heart.
The short interlude between co-headliners, saw Hull’s LIFE open in their traditional manner with ‘In Citrus’, instantly hooking the crowd with their familiar tune and bouncing beats. Another popular song, ‘Money’ had the crowd stepping forward and dancing. Mez joined their fans on the floor for a couple of tracks, with Loz and Mick hanging off the stage. “You’re only close enough if you get wet from this,” Mick told us, as he shook his damp barnet. This is the spell that they cast; that within a couple of tracks they’ve worked up the audience as much as their sweat levels.
New songs ‘Membership Man’ and ‘Go Go Go’ featured, as promised, with Mez introducing the latter as “this one’s very fast”. It didn’t stop a couple of us trying to sing along, which the brothers commented on, adding they’re not even sure they can follow along with the lyrics. “I just go nananana,” joked Mick.
Who, by the way, I did get a non-blurry photograph of. The only issue the guys had was the low ceiling. Mez climbed the drumkit, curving himself around the rafters, and Mick did mention afterwards that he almost did himself an injury when throwing himself around the stage.
What I adore about this band is their sheer love of performing. They are the only band where I can guarantee the mic stand is more likely to spend it’s time off stage than on. There is never a doubt in my mind that I will leave delighted with their set, empowered by the bond they create with their audience.
Between them, Storms and LIFE are a mesmerising clash of noise and stage presence. Bands to be reckoned with, and bands you will hear about for a long time into the future.
You can still catch these guys on their co-headline tour, which continues across the UK until 13th November.