Gig Review: RedFaces at Think Tank

Tom Hardwick reviews RedFaces' headline slot at ThinkTank...

Tom Hardwick
13th February 2018
Image: Tom Hardwick

A stellar 2017 saw RedFaces establish themselves as a growing force in indie music. Highlights included sharing the main stage at Community Festival with the likes of Catfish, Slaves and The Wombats, and the Sheffield band now embark on their, so far well-received, headline UK tour.

The support acts seemed to have been specifically chosen as a celebration of indie music in the North East, with both The Adlets and VITO hailing from Newcastle itself. The Adlets were the first to take to the stage and they brought a set bursting with powerful guitar solos and drum fills, with a sound that was reminiscent of The Amazons. ‘White Lies’ and ‘Weekend’ were rousing efforts that showcased the bands considerable potential and got the night off to a very positive start.

VITO followed on from their Newcastle brothers, and again proved to be the perfect choice in terms of supporting acts. They have been described as a band that would appeal to fans of Catfish and the Bottlemen, and the similarities in terms of how they sound were evident throughout their brief set. ‘Masquerade’ highlighted that their music has its foundations in dynamic choruses, underpinned by electrifying guitars and the quite impressive voice of their frontman. They too seem to have a promising future ahead of them, and proved that Newcastle does indeed have a hotbed of talented smaller bands that can be enjoyed on even the tightest of student budgets.

It was safe to say that RedFaces have grown into themselves as a band.

The crowd had been well warmed up by the time RedFaces made their way out, and immediately delved into a frenetic set that only increased the levels of energy seen in the performances of the supports. Having first seen them last April in a venue that looked like something lifted from Phoenix Nights, it was safe to say that RedFaces have grown into themselves as a band.

‘Wise Up’ was an interesting song, sometimes relying on an electro-sounding beat to drive it forwards, and it’s lyrics were well delivered by both the frontman and bassist, sending a warning about being blind in love and the misfortunes that this might hold. ‘Take it or Leave it’ was a more relaxed addition to the setlist, but it possessed a funky bass line and a chorus that, with its synthesiser-esque tones and lyrics about youth with a dash of introspection, was very much enjoyable. ‘Katie Come Home’ was a crowd pleaser, with a warm but upbeat sound that, for a second, transported me from a cold evening on Tyneside to a summer festival.

‘Office Girl’, as mundane as the title might sound, had a similarly buoyant feel to it, and ‘Bottle It Up’ was a song during which any fuel that the band had left in the tank was spent on an intense and frantic few minutes. 'Kerosene', the band’s first and perhaps biggest single to date, was the highlight of the night. It highlighted everything that has made RedFaces one of the most exciting small bands around, with an almost anthemic sound developed with pulsating guitars, a powerful bassline and a crescendo in which the snare drum reverberates around the room before one last riotous delivery of an impressively catchy chorus.

You may not have seen or heard of RedFaces, but if each gig matches the level of performance they achieved here at Think Tank, then any remaining anonymity will soon be shattered.

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