Live Review: overpass – Leeds 22.03.24

Brudenell Social Club is sold out. It’s the turn of Birmingham indie up-and-comers overpass to headline the iconic venue, and there’s a lot of excitement down at the front. 

I first saw overpass 12 months ago, as they played to a packed out room at Oporto during Independent Venue Week2, supporting Tom A Smith. They were good then, but the development of the music – the new EP From The Night is out now – and the performance is huge. 

There’s a good atmosphere awaiting the band as they prepared to take the stage. Built up by Wakefield’s Oliver Pinder, and the Gene Gallagher-fronted Villanelle, it’s already been a good night. At the front, some are waiting with signs, hoping to grab souvenir drumsticks at the end of the show. Others are so excited, they’re shouting the lyrics of the songs over the PA into their partners’ faces. I doubt Joe Keery’s End of the Beginning would be sung with that much energy, even at his own show!

So, there’s a huge reaction as the band emerge, and as the head into opening number Alright, you can see how far they’ve come in such a short space of time. They are strong headliners, polished, classy, sounding immaculate. In the time since I saw them, they’ve supported the likes of Inhaler, Two Door Cinema Club and Kaiser Chiefs, and they’ve clearly grabbed those opportunities in bigger venues to craft their live show into something really accomplished. 

Fronted by Max Newy, he cuts an impressive figure, and as the night goes on and the sweat dampens his wavy hair, I couldn’t help thinking he had the look of a young Bruce Springsteen! There’s a swagger and a confidence that’s grown in the past year, and it’s great to watch the whole band coming of age. India Armstrong – cool and unflappable – holds everything down with an effortless performance on bass. This is underpinned by Jake Bishop on drums, and in the darkness stage-right, Elliot Rawlings guitar cuts through the air with soaring solos. 

The new music is well received – title track From the Night has a driving beat and feels instantly like an anthem. Stay Up similarly is delivered powerfully and drags the audience along with it. Beautiful, the EPs closing track, has already connected with fans, and the singing along shows that these are the kinds of tunes that will comfortably fly in a bigger venue. 

It’s a testament to the effort that overpass have put in recent months that their live performance is so engaging. As they leave the stage, following Beautiful, the crowd are eager to ensure the band come back out, and as they re-appear for a 3-song encore, the reception is on another level from the start of the show. Favourites Right Time, Midnight and the anthemic 3AM bring the night to a close and show the quality and potential the band have.

I look forward to seeing them on bigger and bigger stages. They’re already on TRNSMT, Live At Leeds in the Park and Truck Festival line ups among others, and there will be many more of those to come this summer I’m sure. Don’t miss them.

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