Sam Fender took Newcastle by storm on Saturday evening, playing his biggest homecoming show yet. Trading in Riverside for a packed-out Newcastle student union, fans were treated to a mix of new and old, both met with raucous receptions.
Four days prior to the release of his new EP Dead Boys, Fender debuted unheard tracks from it much to the delight of the sell-out crowd.
Some of his most popular tracks including ‘Dead Boys’ and ‘Friday Fighting’ were sang back to him word for word, a sign of his constantly growing popularity. The clarity in his voice made the message behind each song all the more pertinent with lines including ‘Nobody ever could explain all the dead boys in our hometown’ and ‘We all tussle with the black dog, some out loud and some in silence’ making everyone aware of the darker but extremely prevalent messages from his songs.[pullquote]Sam was genuinely touched by the reaction he received[/pullquote]
'That Sound’ captured the crowd’s attention whilst after asking for the crowd’s permission, he then went solo, bringing the tempo right down with an acoustic rendition of ‘leave fast’, another track off the new EP. Each track had one thing in common, whether the tempo was fast or slow, whether he was with or without his band, the strength of Fender’s vocals shone through, reverberating around every corner of the venue.
Evidently, Sam was genuinely touched by the reaction he received to every song, a grin spread across Fender’s face between each track as intermittent renditions of ‘toon toon barmy army’ were chanted, the crowd eager to make him aware of their adoration and acknowledgement that he was one of their own.
A slight drawback was the still many unreleased songs, although sounding brilliant, slightly effected the flow of proceedings. However, as his arsenal of songs increases and are presented to the world, it is clear that it will not take long for fans to learn them ready to scream back to him, undoubtedly making his live shows even more energetic.
There is a certain boldness to Sam’s music that sets him aside from others. This, on top of his ability to perform so well in a stripped back setting as well as in a punchier, heavier setting alongside his band makes his act so unique. If Saturday night is anything to go by, Sam Fender is rising rapidly, and it will not be long before he trades in the student union for an even larger venue.