Man Made, Marsicians and Howler: The Cockpit, Leeds

You would be wrong to brush the Marsicians under the carpet as just another teen Arctic’s-like indie band. They are in fact far from it. As the youngsters throw themselves into the first track Swings and Roundabouts it is clear that they will be heading for bigger things. The nervous energy which was ever so present in the boys as they shuffled onto the stage at the cockpit in Leeds disappeared; being replaced by the obvious elation of the moment. Who could blame them really? Barely out of high school the four mates are already supporting world class band Howler, who NME magazine tipped as ‘one to watch’ for this year. As well as receiving one of the best reactions from the audience that I’ve seen from an opening support band.

The songs elevated the previously subdued mood in the room, gathering a bigger and bigger crowd as the set continued. Refreshingly the lads made the audience genuinely glad they got down to the gig early, rather than being faced with the disappointing, ill prepared, painful supports which can be all too common nowadays.

Catchy rifts and lyrics made their songs an instant hit with the room to those who were previously a stranger to the band. A cover of Duran Duran’s Rio blended in seamlessly to the set list, putting their stamp on the classic though still allowing the familiarity of the tune to shine through.

I’d challenge anyone to listen to the Marsicians without even the slightest smile crossing their face or even having a bit of a dance. They really do make music to make you happy. Their new EP Hands received a great reception, something I’d encourage you to check out. There is no doubt that the guys will mature into a brilliant band; as they grow along with their music it will be interesting as to which direction they will go, and whereabouts in the music industry they will fit in.

You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Howler. They do seem to have popped up out of nowhere, ever since NME titled them as a band to watch for 2012, and having just come back from touring with everyone’s new favourite indie band The Vaccines, you can understand why. So I was expecting big things from the band after all the hype they’ve received, even if they were performing at a small venue. They definitely proved their worth.

From the rocker-esque look lead singer Jordan Gatesmith was sporting, to the Hawaiian shirts which also graced the stage, you wouldn’t describe the American five-piece as ‘conventional’. Along with the catchy short songs such as Told You Once, the guys are surprisingly individual and refreshing compared to the many copycat new bands which we see nowadays.

Showcasing their recently released new album ‘American Give Up’ the guys have in effect produced an array of great pop songs which perform even better than they are listened. Gatesmith adding an amazing likeability factor to the band, with an air of confidence which stays just behind the line of arrogance. The clear influences of such bands as ‘The Libertines’ and ‘The Stroke’ are ever so present within the band despite the differences being just as clear, with a ‘surf/thrash’ edge to them as they like to describe themselves (if anyone can decipher what that means they are better than me).

Backed up on the night by local band Marsicians and Man Made, the guys caused great excitement in the audience leaving me persuaded that all the new hype around them is justified. The band is creating a new genre and answering to the growing number of people who see guitar music at an all-time low and filling the gap in the market for a new-age indie.