Synth-pop trio Prides performed at the Leadmill, Sheffield, on 7th November, with support from their Scottish pals Fatherson. Although restricted to the smaller room of the venue, both bands stood upon its stage with confidence as they played to a receptive crowd who sang every word back to them with a fierce passion.
From the very first note, Fatherson grabbed the attention of the entire Leadmill with their new single ‘Always’, a song that burns with life and reminds you that good music can still be honest and meaningful. The band went straight into a more familiar track, ‘Hometown’, showing us that Fatherson’s songs have always been sincere, steadying our hearts with profound tales of self-reflection and doubt.
It was the first time I’d seen Fatherson on the small stage at Leadmill but it already felt like they had outgrown it. You could feel tremors beneath your feet as the band played louder and louder; you weren’t so much listening to the songs as feeling them. Fatherson are the writers of songs you can believe in and, more importantly, songs that believe in you.
‘I Like Not Knowing’ confirmed everything I already knew about this band: Fatherson are worthy of great things and it’s only a matter of time before they’ll be headlining venues twice this size, winning over hearts across the country.
It wouldn’t be a Prides if it didn’t start with a Disney song; ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ echoed across the room as Sheffield sang along to all of the words. Prides needn’t worry, though, because they already seem to be kings of their sound, championing the circuit like the synth-pop royalty they are.
“There’s a lot of heartbreak on our album,” lead singer Stewart Brock announced, referring to Prides’ debut LP released earlier this year, “so we balanced it with sex. That’s what this next song is about.” He was talking about ‘Let It Go’, a sexy song that describes the bittersweet end of a relationship. Things then took an optimistic turn as Prides played the title track from their album, ‘The Way Back Up’, encouraging the room to sing along to its chorus. Sheffield needed no encouragement, however, and Stewart was still grinning at the room when they lept straight into ‘Little Danger’.
A strong beat from drummer Lewis Gardiner kept the pace between songs; Leadmill was shaking under its force as the next track was dedicated to those fans who have been there since the start. ‘Out Of The Blue’ was one of the first songs Prides ever released and this show proved that it’s still a fan favourite; the crowd’s cheers were absolutely deafening.
“You can tell things are about to get emotional now, because Callum is holding a wooden instrument,” Stewart tenatively told the crowd. Instrumentalist Callum Wiseman agreed, claiming the acoustic guitar is “the universal symbol of heartbreak” as he began to play ‘Same Mistakes’, one of the slower ballads from their debut LP.
Things didn’t slow down for long, though, as Prides kicked up the pace with hit songs ‘I Should Know You Better’ and ‘Just Say It’. For the latter song Stewart came down into the crowd, locking eyes with his fans and dancing with them for an epic finale.
Sheffield had barely caught its breath before the boys returned with best friend and lead singer of Fatherson, Ross Leighton, for the encore, breaking our hearts with a captivating performance of ‘The Kite String And The Anchor Rope’. Everything had been stripped back as Callum, Ross, and Stewart stood in line, harmonising the words that echo those melancholic 5am thoughts that make you sigh.
I often say that Prides create the kind of music which you dance to when your heart is breaking; the upbeat tempo and electronic sound providing the foundation to more emotional lyrics. Yet this felt different; lead singer Stewart Brock was dancing like he had nothing left to lose, giving it all to a crowd who sang every word back to him.
Prides have still got almost 3 weeks of their tour to conquer the rest of the UK, winning over hearts and minds with their invincible pop music and personal approach. They’re not hiding behind a personae – the band you see YouTube or hear on TV are the same guys you’ll meet at the merch stand, and it’s this honesty that makes them so likable. Do yourself a favour and make friends with Prides; you won’t regret it.
9th November – MANCHESTER – Academy 3
10th November – BIRMINGHAM – Institute
12th November – LONDON – Koko
13th November – NORWICH – The Waterfront
15th November – BRISTOL – Thekla
16th November – NOTTINGHAM – Rescue Rooms
17th Noember – LEEDS – Wardrobe
19th November – NEWCASTLE – Riverside
21st November – GLASGOW – O2 ABC
22nd November – ABERDEEN – Lemon Tree
23rd November – EDINBURGH – Liquid Rooms
25th November – DUBLIN – Whelan’s
26th November – BELFAST – Limelight 2
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE: prides.seetickets.com