27th January | SWX2
Photos: Mar Reyes
The Night Café have secured themselves a youthful, committed and enthusiastic fan base, one that was on full display on Saturday night at SWX2. Lead singer, Sean Martin was pushed to naming the crowd the “best crowd of the tour so far,” with surely only a slight hint of hyperbole.
The band certainly displayed their talents as a warm-up band for the likes of Sundara Karma and The Hunna, since the crowd wasted no time before whipping themselves up into a mass of steaming bodies.
The Night Café produced a stream of songs that swung between the dominant twinkling guitars of surf rock and the heavier pounding of the drum kit. Pace was something very varied within this particular show, as the crowd was lulled into the swaying of songs like ‘Addicted’ before being transcended into the head-thrashing of ‘Mixed Signals.’ And there was even something to be said for their orchestration of singular tracks which featured prolonged but enthralling guitar sections.
All of this was complimented by the catchy choruses and surprisingly beautiful vocals. The audience swooned in ‘Turn’ when they displayed youthful confusion: “I should go, I should leave, You don’t know, you’re not asking me.” Similarly, despite the summery feel of ‘You Can Change With The Seasons,’ there was a darkness in the lyrics, “You need to change your opinions on me, I need to give my love to someone new.” All of this was recognisably human and the audience had no qualms with empathising.
The band is young. The four-piece looked like they could have been pulled straight in off the streets, with their dark hoodies and baseball caps. But they didn’t sound or act like that. The frontman, in his rich Scouse accent, kindly requested that the audience look after the other gig-goers and “pick anyone up off the floor” if necessary.
Support came from PLAZA. They had deeper guitars and darker vocals, suited to the moodiness of a dank Bristol evening. Slow rhythmics were teamed with moments of fast-strummed guitars and clashing cymbals.
The show was infectious and uplifting, allowing the young folk to be all up in the front-row ruckus, whilst it was equally as enjoyable from the back, toe-tapping and head-bopping. The Night Café’s second EP comes out this April, and then, in Sean Martin’s words, “it’s album time.” There is little doubt that this band will soon be upgraded to bigger venues, producing festival anthems and chart-topping indie-pop.