Opening up to a tiny yet packed Bodega was Honey Lung, London natives with a serious sound. Frontman Jamie Batten led the grunge-shoegaze four-piece out on stage and it was clear the band was inexperienced, yet they just had the star quality that’ll get them a long way in time to come.
Guitarist Charlie Gardner, bassist Dave Sherry and drummer Omri Covo all back up Batten immaculately but the show is all about him. His understated stage presence combined with his vocals and lead parts show he is an all-rounder and the real deal. The young band played through tracks from their debut EP Kind of Alone as well as newer singles Stuttering Mind and finishing up on Sophomore; they showed the Nottingham crowd exactly what they’re about. [7/10]
See them playing Sophomore on Reading Festival’s BBC Introducing stage this summer:
By the time Citizen hit the stage, the small attic room was already unbearably hot – the subject of many comments throughout the set. Opening with Jet from their new album, vocalist Mat Kerekes wasn’t planning on hanging about for introductions. Within minutes, the first crowdsurfers had emerged atop the energetic pit in front of the stage, and it only got more lively from then on in.
The whole set was very reflective in nature: not only did the band comment on the length they’ve been together producing music and on how As You Please is the best album they have made during that time, but nearly half their time onstage was spent playing tracks from their 2013 debut album Youth including Sleep, Roam The Room and How Does It Feel. To the (rather vocal) dismay of a couple of audience members 2015 track Stain did not feature, though their persistence in suggesting it earned them a well-deserved “f*** off” from guitarist Nick Hamm.
Closing the main body of their set with The Summer was a fantastic decision for the crowd participation. The heat in the room had already got sweat dripping from the ceiling and had received many comments from band and audience alike, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the singalong that ensued. The fan favourite track had crowdsurfers, stagedivers, fingerpointers and mic-grabbers all going for it to bring the night to a close as Citizen went to leave the stage. They never quite made it off the small plinth though – they lingered on stage right in full view to have a chat about what they were going to play for the “one more song” the crowd wanted so badly. They came back with As You Please closer Flowerchild to finish off a stellar set in style.
Very exciting band in terms of their new album and their stage show at the moment; if you’re not aware of Citizen yet then get on it with this album cycle, you won’t regret it. [9/10]
See In The Middle of It All from their new album As You Please below; the album is due out Friday: