Live reviews

The Thrills – The Charlotte, Leicester

It’s always good to see a band on the crest of a wave (well, maybe not always – there is still plenty of crap out there somehow doing ‘well’). Right now Irish band The Thrills are on the Radio a-plenty, performing at all the right festivals and selling out venues across the country.

Armed with a batch of breezy, west coast influenced indie-pop tunes they are the sound of summertime 2003. Maybe they only really appear to have one trick – the aforementioned breezy indie-pop. However they perform it well. Their album ‘ So much for the city’ is crammed full of such material and in ‘Big Sur’ and ‘Santa Cruz (You’re not that far)’ has two modern classics, with breakthrough single ‘One Horse Town’ not far behind.

And so the tour arrived in Leicester in late June. The scene was pretty much set – a hot sunny summer night, venue crammed full (yes – full!) of expectant fans and other who paid the very reasonable £7 admission to see what the fuss was about. Worth a gamble at that price for sure.

Beforehand there was a slight doubt in my mind whether the band could carry such light harmonies and clean instrumentation live. Not a problem. Maybe the volume could’ve been higher, but from the off the crowd were bouncing and singing along. A sweaty mass of figures spread right to the back wall of the venue.

The band reproduces their recorded material accurately and energetically. Singer Conor Deasy has a slightly curious high-pitched husky tone but it is perfect for The Thrills material. He also produces a mean harmonica to add to the guitar, bass drum, and keyboards line up. Leg constantly shaking with the music, he has a good stage presence.

It is always a good move to introduce a well known song early in the set – especially when your album has only just been released and the chances are most in the audience are seeing you for the first time. This is what the band does with ‘Big Sur’. It works well – people joining in with the words and the ‘do-do’ vocals! It’s what summer nights are for.

The set is fairly short – clocking in at just over 45 minutes. No fat here – the band just does what they are good at and don’t pad it out with meaningless covers for example. So maybe £7.00 was about right after all.

Yep – a band on the crest of a wave delighting all present with their summer pop. Their lyrics have deeper, darker tones and for the band to move onto the 2nd album territory maybe more emphasis on this may ensure longevity. But in the meantime…enjoy.

Matty P

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