In the back of a pub in a corner of Derby, I find Those Who Seek, who have dragged themselves all the way from Manchester for this gig. It’s nothing short of surreal, that after months of listening to their music in an offhand sort of way, and then publishing a review of their EP, I finally get to see them live, at their first gig outside their home city; that’s not something you can say every day.
After an incredible interview with the band, – which you can hear/read about here – the gig cracked on. As TWS weren’t the headliners for the night, there wasn’t much of a crowd for the band to work with. I think the best way to describe my reaction to the show was that it all felt rather… perhaps “comical” is the best word. It was absolutely ludicrous that a band this damn good were only playing to a crowd of around 25. It was ridiculous that a set so polished was only being played in the back of a pub when it should have been played at a venue at least the size of Stealth, Rescue Rooms, or even Rock City. It was obvious that they had already surpassed the Manchester equivalent of a venue that size, and if I could’ve, I would’ve stopped the set midway, and said “pack up your equipment; I’ll take you to a venue you haven’t outgrown already”.
Being a support act, the set was only six tracks long – all four off of the EP, and two new singles to be recorded next year (see the interview for more details, including a big name that they’ll be working with). As Matt (Clarke, vocals) mentioned earlier that evening, and as I have said in previous articles, each track is so different to the last. They’re the sort of band that could never record the same song, let alone the same EP, twice, which is becoming a rarity nowadays. You can clearly tell the difference between the familiarity of their older work, such as their first single, Run From Me, in contrast to the tracks that are fresh and played with endless enthusiasm.
Anyone can tell how much more comfortable they are playing their newer music; they all enjoy that much more. I can understand why the band were reluctant to play their oldest track, and the songs they have yet to release suit them better than anything has, but I think it was incredible to see just how much they’ve grown since they started writing as a band. They may not have been overjoyed at first when I suggested they play Run From Me, but they still breathed life into it that filled the room and exploded off the stage – quite literally. Matt definitely knew his way around the stage, and excelled at putting on not just a set, but a show.
Musically, I was quite simply overwhelmed. Matt and Nathan’s voices worked together perfectly, and the whole band was incredibly tight – it was all made better by the fact that they sound exactly as they do on the album; they had no reliance on editing or auto-tuning. After hearing the EP, I thought they were great, and after hearing their live set, I think they’re bloody phenomenal. I recommend you get listening to them now, and then when they’re headlining big venues, you’ll be able to say you knew them when they were still playing gigs to 25 people in the back of a bar in a corner of the Midlands.
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Twitter – @thosewhoseek_uk