Saturday evening saw up-and-coming indie/psych band The Calls headline at The Lending Room venue in Leeds, in support of the release of their debut mini-album The Night the World Stood Still.
Having formed in 2015, The Calls are still a relatively new addition to the ever-growing music scene in Leeds, sculpting a fusion of indie, rock and psychedelia to great effect.
As the band entered the stage and launched into their set with all guns blazing, the colourful video backdrop created the perfect atmosphere for their uplifting, powerful sound to wash over the audience. The sound was spot on from the start, with the drums piercing through the fuzzy guitar riffs whilst the vocals of lead guitarist Tom Fuller flowed delicately between the two.
One thing I love about The Calls’ sound is the skillful mix of indie/rock with more seasoned psychedelic and experimental influences to create a unique, almost dream-pop experience. The songs have everything: catchy riffs, vocal hooks and interesting drum work. The solid song structures, combined with the captivating, summery riffs make them stand out from the plethora of similar bands in the genre and it was great to see such young musicians doing something slightly against the grain.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of seeing Brazilian psych legends Os Mutantes and parts of The Calls sound took me right back to that fantastic experience, merging the new with subtle but distinguished references to the old greats.
The songs from The Night the World Stood Still felt memorable and nostalgic, despite being new, something which is extremely hard to achieve and they have truly excelled with their first recorded output in that sense.
I Can’t Afford It, May Day and Lost Art of Romance were my personal highlights of the set, showcasing a band with endless promise and musical vision. The slick execution of the material suggests a professionalism way beyond their years and certainly bodes well for the future of the band.
The night was a great success, with the band clearly humbled by the excellent turnout and positive reaction to their songs. The Calls are an exciting breath of fresh air on the local music scene and I look forward to seeing them again In Leeds (and beyond) as soon as possible!
Gary writes for Leeds Living on contemporary music, being an avid goer of gigs and a supporter of local talent.