Energetic Indie Pop 4-piece, Sophie and The Giants, pack out The Leadmill with their euphoric melancholy pop on the Sheffield leg of their current European Tour.
If the excitable crowd at The Leadmill on Saturday 4th October is anything to go by, it’s clear that Sophie and The Giants have been well and truly embraced into their adopted home of Sheffield. After working with Jon McClure, a.k.a. ‘The Rev,’ the band relocated to Sheffield just a couple of years ago and have already established themselves as a flourishing part of the Sheffield scene.
Touring supports, Essex band Rubber Jaw, kicked off the show, producing a great selection of catchy indie rock tracks with a moody melodic edge
Sophie and The Giants took to the stage, delighting an already excitable crowd with punchy alt-pop opener “Waste My Air,” followed by a string of catchy up-tempo singles, such as “Space Girl” and “Monsters”.
The band have consistently laced a familiar thread of rousing intensity running through all their songs, marking them out as distinctive Sophie and The Giants’ tracks, yet this is finely executed to allow each track its own identity. Sophie’s soaring powerful vocal performance really does set them apart from the crowded world of equally catchy Indie bands, but she is ably accompanied by Toby Holmes diverse and accomplished guitar work, Chris Hill’s solid metronomic drumming and Antonia Pooles steady thumping bass lines.
Elements of Florence and The Machine’s exultant choruses could be felt in songs like; “The Light”, and there are hints of a Yonaka-esque sampled vocal styling peeping through the intro for “Monsters”. Yet Sophie and The Giants forge their own path, with their songs walking the line between melancholy laments of youthful vulnerability, before turning on their heels to bring forth their trademark jubilant and intensely danceable choruses.
Mid show, as Sophie surveyed the packed out Leadmill, she recalled that the crowd for their Sheffield debut had not been too busy, but one year on, that was evidently no longer the case. It’s great to see a band that’s not fazed by a tough gig, but works harder and better to return like conquering heroes. Clearly, that hard work has paid off, and it’s looking like a pretty insane year for the band, that’s seen them touring around Europe, supporting Stereophonics and Tom Grennan, and even an advert soundtrack deal with Vodafone in Germany.
The set itself was short and sweet, clocking in at just under 40 minutes. Sophie, with no diversions, kept the stage banter to a minimum and let the songs speak for themselves. Each song evoking the same atmospheric, stirring quality that wouldn’t be out of place in a film soundtrack. There was a nice change of pace halfway through the gig, where the band performed an emotive, stripped-back mashup of Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” and “Wicked Games,” by Chris Isaak. Starting with a few haunting melancholy guitar tones to accompany Sophie’s compellingly powerful vocals, the cover floated along dreamily before the full band kicked in to blast out the massive riff for a satisfyingly resounding ending to the song.
The confrontational pop anthem “Bulldog”, worked well as a fierce conclusion to the set, embodying the dogged determination and confidence of the band. The Leadmill crowd weren’t going to allow them to escape without an encore, and their latest single “Break The Silence” was the bands final offering to an enthusiastically appreciative crowd.
WORDS – JACK FLYNN
PHOTOGRAPHY – MAL WHICHELOW
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