7th March | Thekla
Photos: Hannah Rooke
There are two things that surprised me about Seafret’s gig. The first was frontman Jack Sedman’s voice. The second? The duo’s overwhelming bromance. It was a sold-out show, packed with couples (you know, the kind that claim one of Seafret’s romantic ballads as ‘their song’) patiently waiting for the band to emerge.
As the two walked on stage, you could feel crowd’s excitement and when the inevitable, “Has anyone been to a Seafret gig before?” was asked, 90% of the hands in the room shot up. Considering the band last toured in 2017 and haven’t released an album since 2016, it was a surprise to me (and the band judging by their expressions) that there were so many long-term fans present.
But as soon as Jack Sedman started singing, it became clear why these fans had stuck around. Not only is his voice far more powerful, emotional and passionate live, but his stage presence is captivating. Singing against a simple lightbox backdrop, the power of his voice vibrated through the can of Red Stripe I was clutching and gave me shivers.
Pain, sadness, love, anger – all this emotion was performed to an audience so willing to absorb it. Classics like ‘WildFire’ and ‘Loving You’ were played but frankly, it didn’t matter what he was singing. He could have been singing about something as depressing as Brexit and the crowd still would have fallen for that voice.
During the gig, guitarist Harry Draper stayed silent, letting his partner take charge of audience interaction. This is probably because he couldn’t get a word in, thanks to Jack’s endless praising of his partner. Telling tales of their first encounter, Jack talked as if he was Harry’s incredibly proud relative. He even sealed the bromance by telling him “You know I love you,” inducing a synchronised “aww” from the crowd.
The duo came across as the kind of boys your mum would love: humble – expressing shock at having sold out their EU/UK tour; funny – telling us not to worry, their lyrics are sad but they’re actually very happy; And talented. God they’re talented. Showy lighting and staging were left behind because all these two need is each other and a guitar.
I’m not sure why I was so surprised by the band’s brilliance. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to arrogant indie frontmen, or perhaps I was worried they’d just play a bunch of sad, break-up songs, but instead I watched two extremely likeable men sing to an adoring audience. And you can bet the next time Seafret tour, I’ll be the one raising my superfan hand when they ask “Has anyone been to a Seafret gig before?”
See the video for ‘Loving You’ here: