Sophie and the Giants this week brought their indie pop-rock to York for their first show at The Basement. The four-piece are currently on tour promoting their 2019 releases The Light and Break The Silence and showcased their energetic live show to a health York crowd.
This year has been one of huge growth for Sophie and the Giants. The Yorkshire band released their two biggest anthems to date, played Reading and Leeds festivals and are currently on their biggest tour so far. I was excited then to be seeing them for the first time at their debut show in my hometown.
Opening the show was Essex band Rubber Jaw, an artist I hadn’t come across before the evening. I’m not entirely sure how to describe their sound either..at times they were just brilliant. I found myself on several occassions catching myself eyes shut just lost in the music the guys were performing. Their ability to layer and build tracks so early into their musical careers is something to marvel at; vocalist Micahel Hemmings has a raw, vulnerable voice that complements the Foals/Mumford and Sons esque riffs and progression in a beautiful way. Freaking Out is a track of near perfection performed live and I’ve played it a lot since the show. The realness reminded me of the first time I saw Isaac Gracie live, a moment I’ll never forget, and this track when performed in York had me sold on the three-pieces talent. Whilst they’re a couple of tracks away from that killer 40 minute set, this is a band I’ll keep a close eye on and were more than a pleasant way to warm-up for SATG.
By the time Sophie and the Giants took to the stage (slightly raised floor) the room had filled up nicely, especially for a band making their city debut on a Sunday night! Lead vocalist Sophie looked right at home and at ease from the minute she strutted to the centre of the stage. Confidence continued to ooze out of her as the night progressed and with every passing track she somehow managed to get stronger and stronger.
The crowd were receptive to every track played, especially 2018 releases Monsters and the tracks from the Adolescent EP, which included set highlight Waste My Air, which has amassed over 5,000,000 streams on Spotify since being released. If you’ve not heard it yet, make it a priority to do so!
So far this year, SATG have released two huge tracks The Light and Break The Silence which have pushed them deeper into the synth-drum driven music that Space Girl showcased on Adolescent, taking them away from the Florence and the Machine sound they had been crafting and almost falling into in 2018.
It’s hard to use anything other than the word anthemic when describing both SATG’s tracks and live performances. Sophie projects such power on stage, backed up by the energy of bassist Antonia Pooles and guitarist Toby Holmes. Antonia’s bass in fact, is the most overlooked aspect of the SATG live show; the funk and rhythm that makes everyone’s foot tap comes directly from her four strings. She has incredible talent and her moves add to the groove she creates with her sounds.
Live, SATG have the added dimension of Chris Hill (drums) being let loose. On track, he is overshadowed a little by the synth and Sophies vocal but live, he is the beating heart of the band, the thing holding it all together and for a while I was just watching his movements and passion for what he was doing. It was quite addictive to be quite honest! The guys have a chemistry that I loved watching and the entire show just flowed in a way bands this young in their careers shouldn’t be able to do. Unreal.