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Review: Sam Fender, Soup Kitchen

Sam Fender’s hit track ‘Friday Fighting’ is the perfect display of what this young indie lad from Newcastle has to offer, with powerful and gritty vocals and a beat that will have you tapping along, its clear to see why he was named one of Annie Mac’s New names on Radio 1.

He also recently played on Jools Holland, the lad is on the up and tonight he plays Manchester’s Northern Quarter, young and intimate venue Soup Kitchen.

Walking down the dank staircase to the club in the basement, the room itself is nothing more than a concrete cuboid with chipped walls, a bar at the back and a pair of speaker stacks at the front. It’s a rugged backdrop for young Sam Fender. We find ourselves a close enough spot by front speakers.

Fender and his band take the stage, his band are dressed all in Black, while Fender is head to toe in White, matching his White guitar. They open the night with vibrant two-minute track ‘Millennial’ perfectly setting the scene for a guitar heavy night.

The strength of Sam’s vocals is established as soon as he started to sing, he then follows with rocky track ‘Will We Talk In The Morning’.

“Hello Manchester, how are we doing? we alright? So we had a f#cking nightmare… say hello to Joen he joined the band yesterday, as Deno had a trampoline freak accident and is in Hospital” Fender laughs and jokes with his crowd, and straight away he comes across as a natural frontman.

He follows with his most popular hits releases ‘Start Again,’ and ‘All Is On My Side’ There is something distinctive about Sam Fender’s material, not one track is a love song. Instead, the 22 year old writes lyrics about government surveillance, fake news and sexual harassment.

“I’ve got a new E.P ‘Dead Boys’ coming out on vinyl! If you would like to buy it, great, if you don’t, that’s also great. I am eternally grateful playing in front of you beautiful people”

“This song I wrote in the shed and here we f#cking are, so cheers!” His debut single “Play God” is an instant indie-rock anthem, and a perfect Fifa track! It goes down a treat and sounds great in the basement of Soup Kitchen.

“We are gonna play one more as a band then I’m gonna do a couple on me own, like” Fender’s thanks the band and they leave the stage. Fender plays “Leave Fast” on the keys, he has the voice of an angle, everyone is stood still, you could hear a pin drop, you can feel his voice is travelling from the basement up to the streets of the Northern Quarter.

He finishes off the short 50-minute / 12 track set and plays beautiful song “Use”. He receives massive cheers as he leaves the stage, the crowd are singing “Use” lyrics as they leave.

If you missed out on this one, not to worry it’s not too long before Fender is back in Manchester, he is playing slightly larger venue Gorilla in February, be quick on the tickets they are selling fast. You can also see other tour dates below.

SETLIST
Millennial
Will We Talk In The Morning
Start Again
All Is On My Side
Dead Boys
The Change
Friday Fighting
That Sound
Greasy Spoon
Play God
Leave Fast
Use

TOUR DATES
7 November – Thekla, Bristol
9 November – Rock City Basement, Nottingham
10 November – The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham
12 November – OMEARA, London
13 November – OMEARA, London
17 November – Newcastle University
3 December – Academy, Glasgow (w/ Blossoms)
13 December – O2 Academy Brixton, London (w/ Blossoms)
25 February – Gorilla Manchester
28 February – Electric Brixton

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