Folks at The Sebright Arms
With a name like Folks you might assume this six-piece from Manchester plays similar music to the likes of Mumford & Sons or Of Monsters and Men. You could not be more wrong. They tread a fine line between pop and heavy guitar rock. From the word go, it seems that their sound is too expansive for such a small venue – this band has supported big names such as Band of Skulls, Miles Kane and Noel Gallagher – and this small basement under a pub in Hackney just doesn’t seem to suit them.
They are tenacious – in every song their loud, in-your-face sound demands the audience’s attention and gets it. There is not a single point in the set where anyone in the audience turns away. Singer Scott Anderson looks like a cross between Ian Brown and Tom Meighan with his shaggy hairdo, leather jacket, and a tambourine he plays throughout. At first his vocals are lost under the drowning noise from the rest of the band, but after a few songs he takes centre stage. During the psychedelic Avalanche and the incredible Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Anderson shows off the extent of his vocal skill, throwing in wails and screams that bring both songs to life. Like Meighan, he is full of energy, constantly moving around the microphone, and his energy rubs off on the audience.
The focus isn’t always on Anderson. Lead guitarist Thom Fripp’s solos are unforgettable, especially during Skull & Bones, and drummer Elliot Barlow expertly knits the band together. They are obviously very well-rehearsed; however, at times songs seem a bit rushed, for instance Nest and Venom just flow past without recognition, but the energy and the quality of the band show the possibility of a breakthrough success in the future. Their recent single My Mother is a perfect example of this, and they use it to finish a brilliant set.
Photos: Laramie Shubber
Watch the video for My Mother here: