Ah, festive cheer at last! Not the usual sort though, because let’s be honest, that’s not cheer. That’s stress wasting your time and emptying your bank account for the sake of the disingenuous happiness of your family, and alcohol, wholly misconstrued as a miraculous thing, is just the medicine that allows you to pass out afterwards. Nope, this night is something truly enjoyable. Mince pies, mulled wine, and The Bastard freakin’ Sons!
Nothing’s quite like watching the locals blast it out on stage, it reminds you of all the cool music and people out there, all the like-minded appreciators around you, whether they be a mile away, or a hundred, they exist, and they’re loving it as much as you. The support acts are impressive, and deserving of a big shout out. Respect to melodic York band Us Amongst The Rest, and post-hardcore outfits Amongst Thieves and Lyon Estates, all of which create an unmitigated energy on stage, and leave a Hell of an impression. The latter in particular have a plethora of vibes ranging from melancholic to aggressive, through tracks that come together smoothly, the change in tones seeming accidental. An intentional accident, of course, if such a thing is possible.
Then the main event begins! The band bring cheer on stage, wearing jolly Santa hats, and the drummer is so cheery that he IS Santa! Not really, he’s a human being. Santa doesn’t f*cking exist. This is the third time this music aficionado has seen Sons live and there’s no doubt about it, their on-stage authority is growing stronger. The five piece kick off with a couple of new tracks. Oh, the excitement of it, knowing those tracks are recorded and ready…only a few months yet now, we hope. More about that in the interview! (Damn, that was cheap). Then frontman JJ casually instigates (like the King in the North should) ‘We Never Saw the Sun’, then towards the end it’s great to hear ‘Winter’ in its entirety, the heaviness amping the crowd and leading headlong into ‘Hot Town’, where it comes to a climactic end too soon.
Now it feels like Boxing day. Reflecting on last night makes two things clear, one, that all of us Soundspherers will be lifelong fans and follow this band into the sorry Earth, and two, they certainly are the Kings in the North. Or at least, the only Kings that we mean to bend our knees to. Merry Christmas all!