The Portland Arms, Cambridge
Wednesday 24th May 2022
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FATHERSON – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW
In the week that the Music Venue Trust launches their new #OwnOurVenues campaign, it’s somewhat fitting that we find ourselves at The Portland Arms in Cambridge.
Not only does the venue signify everything that the organisation seeks to protect, but they have themselves benefitted during lockdown from the Frank Turner led Independent Venue Love series.
It is venues such as this that act as the lifeblood for artists and music fans alike and The Portland Arms is a particular favourite of mine.
We find ourselves here tonight to catch the brilliant Fatherson, as the band tour their latest album, ‘Normal Fears’. As it appears are many others who fill the venue despite the favourable Spring weather outside.
Opening tonight is a band that has been building a solid reputation over the past decade, but one that is emerging again after large structural changes. Black Foxxes released their third album mid-pandemic shortly following major line-up changes.
Tonight they show that this refreshed version of the band is still a viable prospect with huge amounts of potential. A raw and intense performance is underpinned by the quality of musicianship, which ensures that the crowd are suitably enthralled.
Soon enough it is time for the headliners Fatherson to step onto the intimate stage, and they do so by bursting straight into ‘Dive’, ‘Charm School’ and ‘Lost Little Boys’. This trifecta is a superb opening salvo which gets the audience into high spirits.
Singer Ross Leighton then introduces ‘Normal People’ and their fourth studio album, ‘Normal Fears’, gets to come to life in the live setting. The new tracks slot in seamlessly with older favourites, and demonstrate the impressive back catalogue that the band has now amassed.
Throughout the evening the band show their quality as a live act, with Leighton’s vocals particularly captivating at times. Once you catch Fatherson live, you will be hooked moving forward such is their power as a band.
Picking a set list with four quality albums behind them must be a tricky conversation now for the band, but tonight they come up with a good mix from across all albums. Older favourites are present such as ‘Cat Stevens’ and ‘Ghost’, with newer tracks like ‘Better Friend’ and ‘Honest To God’ also serving a highlights.
All in All, as the band finish with an encore of ‘Making Waves’, fans can leave the venue reflecting on another fantastic night of music. It really is nights like this, in venues like this where music truly thrives.
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