THERE’S bromance in the air on Prides and Fatherson’s UK tour, of which this show represented the triumphant homecoming. Members of each group joined the other on stage at various points during their respective sets, culminating always with lots of manly hugging. A sold-out Saturday night crowd shared noisily in the love-in.
Kilmarnock-formed earnest indie-rockers Fatherson – one of several groups on the Scottish scene to whom Biffy Clyro represent a major inspiration – have recently been swept to a deal with a subsidiary of major label Sony by a groundswell of popular support.
There was a feel-good factor about their set which couldn’t be diminished even by drummer Greg Walkinshaw taking a comical fall on his backside when he attempted to clamber victoriously on to his kit to salute the crowd.
Prides are a trio with their eyes on the multi-platinum prize groups like Bastille and Imagine Dragons have recently enjoyed with a similarly glossy, powerful, 80s synth-pop indebted sound. They’ve perhaps been cautioning their tour mates not to get too carried away by the major label dream, having seen their Island Records-released debut album The Way Back Up spend just one week in the UK top 40. But as long as they’re receiving a worshipful reception like they did here live, there’s surely hope for breakout success yet.
The kind of group who could do a show at an old folks home and still make like they’re playing a stadium, the ebullient trio of keyboardist and singer Stewart Brock, guitarist, keyboardist and backing singer Callum Wiseman and drummer Lewis Gardiner arrived on stage to elaborate laser lighting, and by the climax of their set were shrouded in dramatic jets of dry ice.
With their tub-thumping beats, terrace-chant hooks and air-punching choruses, subtlety is a quality entirely eschewed by Prides. Songs like Higher Love and Out of the Blue ache for Radio 1 playlist ubiquity.
A cover of Ellie Goulding’s On My Mind rammed the point home.
You couldn’t fault Prides for pounding passion, but a sorely needed change of pace and mood only really came at the start of the encore when Ross Leighton from Fatherson joined Brock and Wiseman to harmonise delicately on piano ballad The Kite String and the Anchor Rope.
Normal service was promptly resumed with fist-pumping closers The Seeds You Sow and Messiah, the former of which saw Leighton and the rest of his band return on stage to join their BFFs Prides in leaping around during the guitar break.