It’s gone midnight at The Hobbit, but the party’s just beginning. After support slots from the Blardy Blars and Freeslave, both of whom got the crowd (enlarged by lots of students wearing funny clothes) ready for the action, The Colours are amped and ready to go. This band have been causing quite a stir in the press recently, so I was tiredly looking forward to checking them out.
Whenever I see a band for the first time, there’s a little hope somewhere inside that I will be blown away and fall in love with their sound, attitude, look, everything. On this night, in the tiny basement of a small Southampton pub, I had that blissful experience.
Kicking off with ‘Bad Light’ and ‘In and Out’, from their criminally-good EP ‘Aurora Borealis’, the four-piece were quickly into their stride, showing themselves to be tighter than a pair of jeans on a member of Razorlight. ‘Processed One’ kept up the momentum, one of several songs to use drum loops to augment the already pulsating sounds coming from the stage.
Things slowed down for ‘Over There’ before the brilliant ‘Fallen Soldiers’, the most immediate song in the band’s canon on this evidence, showed that they have it in them to conquer the hearts and ears of a nation should they choose. The song kicks in at just the right moment, really taking off, with Tom’s vocals (not for the first time tonight) reaching the stratosphere.
The punchier ‘This Time’ showed a straighter side to the band, while ‘If You Won’t’ carried on the good work. This in spite of the bass cutting out in the middle of the song, leading Tom into one of many amusing ‘chats’ with the audience. Finishing up with the sprawling ‘Childish Fool’ and ‘January’ (the standout track from the EP) the band were granted the encore they so richly deserved, proceeding to invite a member of Blardy Blars up on stage for an indie/camp-fire sing-along version of ‘Your Smile’. A fun evening ended on a light-hearted note.
The Colours may be a band whose frontman plays a keyboard, but they are no Coldplay copyists. Far from it, in fact. Tom Newman’s bass, and the washes of guitar from Henry Harding take things in a punchier direction, while Tony Folland’s drumming is full of character and pizzazz. Topping things off are the vocals of Tom Pickford. He’s no Chris Martin, he’s far better than that, calling to mind Robert Plant in his pomp.
If this band aren’t on the national consciousness by the end of the year then I’ll find an old hat and eat it.
Guest article from Haydon S.
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