Dancing Years at the Roundhouse
With a capacity crowd at the Roundhouse for their single launch (and without a doubt fan favourite) Places We’ve Roamed, Dancing Years are poised for success. Having toured with Electric Soft Parade, dates with Dry the River and Australia’s Boy and Bear among a wealth of festival dates, these hotly-tipped-for-2014 boys from the burgeoning Leeds music scene are sitting on the cusp of stardom.
Dealing exclusively in searing and catastrophic indie-folk, Dancing Years specialise in orchestrally emotive and melancholy pieces, formed by a dreamlike combination of sumptuous falsetto vocals, layered violin, keys and persisting guitars. In attendance was a plethora of local support, testament to the dent, or perhaps large impact Dancing Years have made on their local scene. Already championed by Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq and Mary-Anne Hobbs, the band are proving with significant vigour that they are fit to take a place in the long-established (but difficult to crack) nu-folk scene.
David Henshaw (vocals), Joseph Lawrenson (piano), Dan Fielding (guitar), Dominic Butler (violin) & Joe Montague (drums) play a set that is an hour-long trial of the memories of teenage diaries, chipping gently at weathered mid-20s heart strings; far from emo however, their set is embraced like a wistful, fond memory of bygone times. Driven extensively by Henshaw’s unremitting vocals, which draw comparisons to Alt J’s Joe Newman married to Damien Rice, Dancing Years display a delicate but sometimes sinister yet ethereal combination.
The evening’s highlight was the single of the moment Places We’ve Roamed, a heartbreaking lullaby that instantly feels like it has been heard a thousand times before – a yearning melodic number that brings the evening’s lovers to arms in a wistfully beautiful embrace. An obvious nod to influences was a cover of Broken Social Scene’s Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl. Dancing Years display professionalism beyond their years, and easily own a song that many seasoned bands would find difficult to tackle.
Where Dancing Years are at risk is in the potential repetition of their obvious strength for heartfelt folk musings, and being pigeon -holed into an already overly saturated genre. Though this emerging, majestically layered five-piece still have time to develop themselves while they create their debut album. The reception and performance at the Roundhouse shows huge potential, with an already fanatic crowd baying for more material, and an industry carefully watching for their next move.
Photos: Andrei Grosu
For further information about Dancing Years and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Places We’ve Roamed here: