Homeshake // Brudenell Social Club, Leeds // 21.05.17

Homeshake // Brudenell Social Club, Leeds // 21.05.17

Peter Sagar recently embarked on his latest UK tour as Homeshake, succeeding the release of his third album, Fresh Air. As the former lead guitarist of Mac Demarco, there was certainly a heightened sense of excitement surrounding the launch of Sagar’s solo career. Inevitably, there were high expectations for the Canadian’s sonic and stylistic development, with comparisons of the artists’ synonymous low-frequency, psychedelic sounds. However, with the release of his latest album, it has become clear that Homeshake possess a degree of sensuality that is unique to those within the genre.

After a minor misunderstanding regarding set times, many fans had arrived early at The Brudendell Social Club. However, the afternoon wasn’t squandered; proceedings began with the rising talent Keith Charles Spacebar, a synthetic rap artist whose stripped back performance seemed too big for the venue. Prior to Sagar’s arrival, a perfectly crafted playlist composed of soul and funk warmed the crowd. As Homeshake took to the stage, I was at once taken by the normality of his appearance. A trademark cap, black T-shirt and rugged exterior provided the entirety of his aesthetic. On first address to the audience Sagar spoke briefly using his vocal effects, a comical beginning which set the mood for the rest of the evening.

‘Hello Welcome’ was the appropriate opening track of the gig, with its complex wavy guitar riffs providing a glimpse of what was to come. The shear aptitude of not only Sagar, but his band members also, was immediately clear, and the audience soon became captivated. The bass seamlessly supported the R&B grooves that ran through the performance, a sound intrinsic to the band’s stylistic design. Proceeding this were the songs ‘Every Single Thing’ and ‘Call Me Up’, two tracks that sparked a definite buzz within the crowd. Although Sagar spoke little throughout the performance, it seemed that words weren’t necessary to delineate the message of his music. The stripped back lo-fi sounds and vocal delicacy that have become thematic to Homeshake were somewhat ethereal and captivating. One of the band’s most popular tracks, ‘Give It to Me’ was used to tease the audience. A long pause in the middle of the song encouraged a thunderous applause from the crowd; it was only then that the song could continue to its close. Ending the performance was an extended version of ‘Michael’, a song composed of a frantic yet groovy chord composition, ensuring that the night would end on a high note. When watched live, the uniqueness of the band’s seductive sound is transparent.

I hope that Sagar continues to possess the level of experimental drive that he’s riding on to shape his future musical development. Homeshake is unquestionably a project off the back of raw talent, and I’d highly recommend seizing any opportunity to see them live.

Rebecca Higginbottom