Photo by Andrew Stables
On Friday 12th May, a sticky summery night, the lovely Receivers headlined the popular York venue The Fulford Arms supported by Lion Papers, Foreign Lives and Vuromantics, making one of the most varied and energetic shows I’ve seen in a while. I was keen to see The Receivers again after they played a fantastic set at Circulation’s Spring launch party in March, and they did not disappoint. The band have also just signed with Sheffield’s Alya Records earlier this month, meaning their York show was bound to be lively, full of their infectious charm and energy.
First to play was Lion Papers, a two-piece who have been on the York/Leeds scene for about 5 years in various musical outfits. The folk duo packed a lot into their mesmerising set, boasting a full and dense sound despite only consisting of a single guitar and drums. Their catchy songs also revealed their humorous side, with new song ‘Anticlimactic’ building in energy only to end leaving the audience hanging. With their great stage presence, it is certainly not hard to believe that Lion Papers are one of two acts in the running to represent North Yorkshire at Derbyshire’s Y NOT Festival – make sure you vote to get them there this summer!
Next up was Foreign Lives, a completely different band made up of five members and very brooding and serious in attitude where Lion Papers had been upbeat and light-hearted. Fitting into a more alternative genre, Foreign Lives played a captivating set which included songs from their recent EP Conversations, released in April. Sounding a bit like Brand New with their melodic brand of alternative rock, Foreign Lives are definitely worth seeing live for the pure angst of their charismatic frontman.
The third act of the night was the charming Vuromantics, again very different from the two bands just before them. Coming from Sheffield, Vuromantics have played York several times and were certainly popular with the local crowd. Their synth-pop sound was made up of keyboards, heavy basslines and a steady dose of melodrama – with a smoke-machine and some maracas appearing at this point to add to the heady atmosphere. Grooving, dramatic vocals from Sam Christie called to mind Spector’s wonderfully over-the-top Fred MacPherson and brought an ironic tone their woeful indie songs.
Finally, it was time for The Receivers’ headline set. The band brought good chat and a brilliant atmosphere, interacting with an audience filled with close friends and supporters. Their set was full of catchy songs, with lead singer Nicholas Aldous’s grungy vocals melding with killer guitar hooks to create a jangly sound reminding me of indie bands Ash and The Doves in their earlier days. Crowd favourite ‘Between These Walls’ had people on shoulders and everyone dancing, and the fantastic set ended with charismatic lead guitarist Alex Higginson pacing vigorously around the venue, eventually coming to lie flat out on the floor in the middle of the crowd. By the looks of their live shows, The Receivers’ upcoming EP is one to watch out for!
Overall all four bands- with elements ranging across folk, pop-punk and shoegaze- were great on their own, but particularly entertaining together for their variety, which could only have been possible in a setting such as The Fulford Arms. It’s definitely intimate, lively venues like this which continue to give smaller cities and local areas a music scene, successfully championing a great variety of live music and giving new bands an opportunity to build local roots.
As for the headliners, it is incredible to think that The Receivers have only been fully formed since December 2016 given how developed their sound is and how effortless their live shows are – 2017 looks to be a promising year for The Receivers and we can’t wait to see what more they have in store.
Catch them while you can at The Fulford Arms on 3rd June and look out for their debut EP coming soon!By Jessie Adams