It was obvious just from standing outside The Sugarmill on Friday night, that The Albion would be performing to another packed venue.
The evening was opened by local band Vienna Sunset, a folk-rock four piece that eased you into their set with strong harmonies, and the ever growing urge to dance. Playing original songs such as ‘You’re My High’, ‘Lovely Sort of Chap’ and ‘Lullaby’ to which lead singer DaveCleasby dedicated to someone in the crowd, Vienna Sunset tamed listeners and began proceedings as best they could.
Next to take to the stage was Release, the most popular support group of the night. The alternative five-member strong group may not have been around for too long, but from the way the audience received them I’d say they’re doing everything right. It seemed as though this band could play anything and still receive adoration from the crowd. Powering through songs ‘Whatever Will Be Won’t Be’ and ‘Spelling Out Doom’, Release demonstrated the strong musicianship between each member and their sheer power when conducting a crowd.
The final support of the night came from Cold Ocean Lies, embarking on the first night of their nine date UK tour. After the hard hitting set brought by Release, Cold Ocean Lies had a lot to bring to compete yet somehow, they managed it. Helped by the relaxed nature of the band and the signature sound provided by a voice effects pedal, Cold Ocean Lies tamed the audience for several moments and brought back some much needed order in the crowd. A personal favourite from their set was ‘Wasting Time’, a song that combined bass and electric guitar to form a well-rounded crowd pleaser.
There was a heavy sense of anticipation in the air as the crowd eagerly awaited The Albion’s arrival. Even when frontman Will Carter stepped up to the microphone, the crowd continued to chant impatiently. Unfazed and seemingly untroubled by this, the band began their set coolly and calmly as though completely unaware of the rowdy and excited crowd before them. Noticeably, The Albion are at ease on stage. As the band play ‘Picturesque’ and ‘Hiding in The Dark’ taken from their brand new EP the crowd become more energised by the second, even finding an opportunity with the most mellow of songs to dance. I still can’t believe how nonchalant the band remained on stage, in spite of the crowd’s intense need to jump and push. Flying through their set with another favourite of mine titled ‘Illusions’taken from their last EP, The Albion seemed unstoppable. This band is just as good live as they are recorded, if not better. They included in their set ‘Sun Structures’ by Temples, where Carter downed his guitar for a more basic instrument – a tambourine. This song provided real contrast to their set and continued to keep the crowd wanting more. Something the band never appear to lose is their cool, even in the remaining songs on their set which include ‘Make Up Your Mind’ and ‘Life Amongst The Young and Lost’, both taken from their previous EP.
As the night draws to a close and The Albion round off their set on a high, I can’t help but feel proud of the bands that I’ve seen. I’m pretty sure everyone that left The Sugarmill that night left with a little bit more faith in real talent. It may not be easy to find but once you gosearching for it, there’s a whole load of undiscovered and underappreciated music that’s just waiting to be adored.