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LIVE: Sea Fever – Gorilla, Manchester, 18/06/2022

Fronted by Iwan Gronow from Haven and Johnny Marr’s band, alongside vocalist Beth Cassidy from Section 25, Sea Fever are a five piece consisting of talented musicians from various bands of renowned status – including drummer Elliot Barlow and New Order’s Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham. It’s safe to say that the band had big shoes to fill when they formed, but they had no problem carving a path and fresh sound of their own on their debut album, Folding Lines. Nine months since its release, we caught them at Gorilla – one of Manchester’s finest modern venues.

Introduced by BBC 6 Music DJ, Chris Hawkins, the band walked onstage to the sound of rapturous applause from a crowd who’d clearly been waiting for their return. Kicking off proceedings with the albums catchy opening track ‘Crossed Wires’, the band raced through a strong set of ten tracks – with highlights including the intense yet irresistible ‘Afterthought’ and the albums title track ‘Folding Lines’. Led by Beth’s stunning vocals, the latter is perfectly crafted to reflect the talents of the entire band whilst highlighting the positive relationship between Iwan and Beth’s vocals.

The band’s debut album offers an eccentric array of sounds and their setlist demonstrated this, particularly ‘Le Coup’ and ‘De Facto’. In the run up to their album release, the band were vocal about how long they’d possessed a desire to work together for and the energy and pure joy onstage during ‘De Facto’ superbly encapsulates that desire being met. Both driving electro cuts, ‘Le Coup’ and ‘De Facto’ placed the spotlight on Tom Chapman’s skills as he took care of synths and programming on top of his bass duties.

With work on their second album underway, the band played three new tracks – ‘Beleaguered Land’, ‘Dilemma’ and ‘Giorgio’. Released just last week, ‘Beleaguered Land’ went down a treat. Recently described by Iwan as his take on the way that things are in Britain, the lyrics reflect exactly that – “break the mould” – and it makes the perfect addition to the band’s catalogue of tracks that ooze with alluring melodies – courtesy of guitarist, Phil Cunningham.

It’s rare for a band to have the material available to them to be able to play an entire set of tracks that all have the potential to be a single, but Sea Fever did exactly that at Gorilla, with each and every track welcomed like an old friend. Though it wasn’t long enough for their adoring fans, the set came to a triumphant end with the anthemic ‘Built to Last’ – with its pummelling beats and jaunty nature ensuring that the band finished on a high.

Sea Fever continue to exceed all expectations and we look forward to the masterpiece that they’re sure to cook up for their second album.

Check the eclectic combo’s website to see where you can catch them this Summer.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.