The Black Delta Movement + White Room + April + The Hubbards
Lending Room, Leeds
November 5 2016
Words/photos: Faith Gledhill
Promoters This Feeling celebrated their tenth birthday last month, and since then the media spotlight has been very much upon them and the incredible work that Mikey Jonns and his team do for up and coming bands and artists across the country. I don't think I've ever been to one of their gigs and come away disappointed. And it's not just the bands themselves that make these shows so very special; I've seen so many people refer to This Feeling as a 'family', and I don't think a truer statement has ever been made.
I'd been incredibly excited about this particular This Feeling show for quite some time, since the line-up boasted two of my absolute favourite bands. I honestly can't get enough of White Room at the moment and have seen them a few times over the course of the summer; and since seeing April support The Sherlocks at the beginning of the year, I've been dying to see them live again too.
The night started, however, with a band I was completely unfamiliar with. The Hubbards are fairly local, being Leeds/Hull-based so I'm quite surprised I've not at least heard of them before. I was instantly impressed by their sound, and they gave an accomplished and well executed performance considering they were playing this gig with one man down (guitarist Alex Green unfortunately being absent due to work commitments). Frontman Reuben's vocals are both strong and memorable, and instrumentally, their music is the perfect mixture of infectious indie-rock whilst having that fun, pop element to it as well. It definitely gets you in the mood and makes you want to have a bit of a dance, thus making them the perfect opening act.
April are very much reminscent of that much loved 90s Britpop era, but that said, they are far from dated; both in terms of sound and image, they're very much a charismatic and contemporary rock n roll band. Latest release 'Open Mind' is a rapturous, surging track and probably one of the strongest releases from a guitar band I've heard this year. They perform with real ease and confidence, and everything is so articulated. George Cooke, with his powerful stage presence and energy, had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire time and is the epitome of everything a frontman should be and more.
You can always rely on White Room to give a performance that is nothing short of mindblowing. Each time I see them, I get that difficult-to-explain feeling: a mixture of awe and excitement, and that sense of being a part of something incredibly special, which in years to come will end up being a real "I was there," kind of experience. I love seeing musicians become completely enraptured by the music when they perform, and in the case of this band, it's truly mesmerising to watch. I definitely think they're stronger for having new bassist Josie; the female backing vocals really complementing frontman Jake Smallwood's own and bringing something a little different into the equation. They're just about to release huge new single 'Stole The I.V', a psych-rock stroke of musical brilliance, which was definitely the standout moment of the set for me. One thing's for certain, White Room are a band on the rise, and I reckon this is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this band and what they are capable of.
The Black Delta Movement
The Black Delta Movement, the final act of the night, were another band who were completely new to me. They have a big, atmospheric rock sound and what I found most interesting about them was the use of not one, but two drummers in parts throughout their set. They have a great on stage chemistry as a band, and interacted well with the crowd; speaking of which, they definitely seemed to get the most positive and excitable response of the night from the audience, with people dancing at the foot of the stage and even attempting to join the band onstage at one point! I think the industry is seriously lacking in credible rock acts at the moment, and these guys are definitely one of the strongest that I've seen.
The original version of this feature appeared on Fiction Is Not Imagination. Click the link here to read more from the author.