LIVE REVIEW >> Childhood at Sheffield Leadmill

Leadmill, Sheffield // Friday, October 3, 2014

London via Nottingham indie four-piece CHILDHOOD have generated quite a bit of excitement since meeting at university, but the first date of their UK tour was a subdued affair.


Local five-piece BLESSA kick things off with a melodic, almost soothing set. Their frontwoman’s voice has a haunting quality that blends pleasantly with the wall of sound riffs, but her mic simply isn’t loud enough and she struggles to be heard over the guitars.

They set the tone for the night; band audience interaction is kept to a minimum, the vocals are strong and the quality of the playing stands out in the instrumental parts- for a moment, there’s even a deep, trembling chord that’s reminiscent of Neil Diamond’s Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon.

After a dramatic intro, London’s KID WAVE kick into the bouncy Young Blood. Their melodic lo-fi indie is quite a bit livelier than BLESSA, with more wall-of-sound chords and rushing instrumental sections, and one of their songs stands out in particular with its funky drum intro. Frustratingly, the mic issues remain for Kid Wave, preventing their singer’s voice low and distinctive voice from sounding its best.

The venue fills slightly more for Childhood, who open with their first single, Blue Velvet. Frontman Ben remains aloof from the audience and spends a good part of the show staring into the distance, which works with his super-relaxed drawl. In the faster moments, his voice moves into Oasis territory, making his London accent sound briefly Northern.

As the set progresses, the band plays one of their livelier songs and it’s then that bodies start moving; the next reaches a powerful, effects-aided crescendo, with Ben delivering his vocals almost as though hypnotised throughout.

It’s a promising sign that the songs from the band’s debut album Lacuna are some of the stronger ones, and the crowd gets moving again nearer the end; perhaps it’s the partially-full venue and an early curfew that stop Childhood from gaining more momentum.

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