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Thursday, 20 October 2011

FOLKS: Live at the Leadmill, Sheffield 14/10/11

I know who my money’s on for making it big in 2012! 

Judging by the electric vibe in the air, I knew my first visit to Sheffield’s Leadmill would be a memorable one.  After being ushered in (and inadvertently jumping the queue to get in) so as to conduct my time-sensitive interview with FOLKS, I was immediately met by lead vocalist Scott, guitarist Michael Beasley and drummer Elliot Barlow, at which time we each took to the seating area of this impressive club. 

My good lady and I then joined them outside for a smoke and some idle chatter which actually proved to be fruitful.  Not only did Guitarist Tom Fripp join us as we talked, but upon our parting company my somewhat star-struck gal made quite the discovery;   it seems FOLKS may be more than simply sonically impressive ladies, for as each of them kissed her farewell; she simply couldn’t avoid stepping on what she later described as their “massive feet!”

As FOLKS took to the stage some forty minutes later, a predominantly polo neck-wearing and seemingly underwhelmed audience feigned mild interest, as they typically wait for tonight’s main attraction Miles Kane.  That said when opener ‘Venom’ unfurls and their Robbie Williams-lead Gomez/Beatles sound is heard, FOLKS rise from the despondency to turn the crowd around in no time at all.  

As the vocal comparison to Robbie Williams becomes increasingly obvious, lead man (and Reef’s Gary Stringer lookalike) Scott also shows he shakes a mean tambourine and throughout ‘Avalanche’ the band’s tight-knit performance strengthens and undeniably begins to impress the hesitant, too cool for school gawkers amongst tonight’s audience.  It’s only track two and the pleasing response is escalating nicely.

‘We're all Dead’ presents us with the proudest display of musicianship, versatility and swagger so far, but despite this I simply have to obey the calling of my bladder!  Upon my return I hear the words “we’re gonna slow things down now” and the criminally motionless crowd prepares to enjoy (what my notes tell me is) ‘We are Dead’, which whilst great, would surely be better deserving of the still-life reaction from the last track.   

Scott twice asks “are you ready for Miles Kane?” attempting to verbally slap all from their apparent slumber, before closer ‘Four and Twenty Blackbirds (incident at CERN)’ finally engages the a ‘tough crowd’ (support act syndrome as I refer to it) and after thanking one and all for coming tonight, there’s another heartfelt big-up for Miles Kane, who’ll surely have this lot eating out of his hand.

FOLKS should be proud of their output tonight and if you’re looking to get behind a new band then I can think of none more worthy; with their album release next year, 2012 should see them shine (with or without their kinship and support slots with Noel Gallagher).  FOLKS are on tour throughout the UK until late November 2011, so go check ‘em out!    

Supporting Miles Kane:

21 October- LIVERPOOL- Academy 2
22 October- MANCHESTER- The Ritz
23 October- CAMBRIDGE- The Junction
25 October- LONDON- Electric Ballroom
26 October- LONDON- Electric Ballroom

Supporting Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds:
31 October – LONDON- Roundhouse

Headline shows:
18 November- INVERNESS- Mad Hatters
25 November– MANCHESTER- Deaf Institute