The small room of The Leadmill has transformed into a folk festival tent tonight. Usually the club’s indie room, where sweaty students down quad-vods, it’s surprising to see a mix of shivering people in coats, sipping pints under a starry canopy of fairy lights. Seven Tors have quietly built up a following over the last few years and its about time that these folk-rockers, with the vocals of sassy angels burst into the spotlight where they belong.
First support, Robberie are already playing an upbeat acoustic song with twinklings of a glockenspiel when I arrive. Listening to the lyrics, I realise there is a sharper side to the song, with its commentary on the media, their shameless advertising and their hypocritical way of promoting products and services. They finish with a lyrically sweeter, folk song, where lead female vocalist, Val Austen declares her love of Sheffield singing, “I take a look at the city and fall in love with her again.”
Things get rockier with Lomas, who specialise in the emotional side of indie. Their sound is more Manic Street Preachers than Arctic Monkeys, that is, until they play a song with drums similar to those in ‘Florescent Adolescent’. They save the best for last, with a heavier rock song, with tamer, more typical indie bridges. Lomas should certainly stick with their moodier, heavier material, as this will help them stand out in a far too predictable and overcrowded indie scene.
Pocket Satellite are always a pleasure to watch, somehow managing to be the cutest pop-folk band, without being sickly-sweet. Vocalists, Maya Zosmer and Carl Haag harmonise through older material such as, ‘Toy Trains’ with its gorgeous violin played by the multi-talented Tom Dixon, who is particularly impressive and effortlessly switches to drums, then banjo later in the set. The band add even more warmth to their music tonight, with Tim Bartley on tuba and Jessica Hearne on trumpet. New song, ‘Eskimo’ is full of energy and sees Maya smiling from ear to ear, bassist, Richard Falk dancing barfoot and the others hopping around the stage. Pocket Satellite finish with the fast paced, clap-along track, ‘Man On A Boat’, leaving behind an infectiously happy crowd.
Finally warmed up, the crowd welcome Seven Tors. ‘Breathe’ starts with skipping drums and Dave Cuthbertson’s funky bass, before Nicola Worthington’s folk vocals weave through the verses and perfectly harmonise with keyboard player Emily Angius’ vocals, for a chorus that makes even the hairs on your arms stand to attention. ‘The Major’ is a synth-filled, pop song with military drums, whilst ‘Is It Too Strange?’ is more folk with its acoustic guitar intro and twinkling glockenspiel. They continue with a number of covers, starting with a stripped-back, heartfelt version of MGMT’s ‘Kids’, before moving onto a sing-along of Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’, and finishing with a beautiful acapella encore of Fleet Foxes’ ‘White Winter Hymnal’. Seven Tors are a stunning folk-pop-rock band, who deserve praise for their faultless performances and pitch perfect vocals.