The last-minute downsizing of venue for this show (from Sound Control, to The Star and Garter), suggests that attendance for this show may be disappointingly low. The Early November is hardly a household name in the UK, and, as such, it’s hard to gauge the composition and dedication of their fan base.
Certainly, as opening support act Summerhouse takes to the stage, it looks like future headline shows for the Early November may be a difficult sell. Fortunately, as Summerhouse’s technically proficient, if not memorable, brand of shoegaze plays out, the room starts to fill up. By the end of their set, there are enough attendees to ensure that the band receive a warm reception for their efforts.
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Up next are Dryjacket, a band whose debut hints at lofty, indie aspirations. It is somewhat surprising therefore, that the band has a likeable, self-deprecating sense of humour, which is almost Blink 182-esque. As the room continues to fill, the banter between band members and the audience creates a relaxed and good-natured atmosphere.
Likeability aside; live, Dryjacket are technically superb. The intricate guitar work from For Posterity and Lights, Locks and Faucets sound just as good live, if not better, than on record. Numbers such as ‘Misused Adrenaline’ and ‘Bill Gates’ Ringtone’ sound simply exquisite, and their noodley brand of indie-rock goes a long way to winning over some new friends.
Any lingering doubts about filling the venue are long since forgotten, by the time The Early November take to the stage.
Jumping straight into proceedings with ‘Hair’ and ‘A Little More Time’; the decennial celebrations of triple album The Mother, The Mechanic and The Path get underway to a bouncy and enjoyable note. The band play through 12 tracks from the album’s 47; incorporating everything from the abrasive indie/emo of lead single ‘Decoration’, to the softer indie-rock of lesser-played, but well-loved tracks, such as ‘No Good at Saying Sorry’.
Disc two closer ‘1000 Times a Day’, chronicling the love story between frontman Ace Enders and his wife, goes down particularly well with all assembled. The main set, made up exclusively of The Mother, The Mechanic and The Path tracks is brought to a satisfying and haunting close with ‘Figure it out’.
Decennial celebrations out of the way, the band play a smattering of favourites from across their back-catalogue. The modern indie-rock of ‘Narrow Mouth’, from most recent record ‘Imbue’ gets the after-party started in style, and the momentum is maintained with the youthful power chords of ‘Fluxy’ from 2003’s The Room’s Too Cold. Acoustic favourite ‘Ever So Sweet’ also goes down well, and provides a nice contrast, to the pervious, louder tracks of the encore.
The highlight of the set, however, is ‘I Want to Hear You Sad’-an up-tempo track, with downbeat lyrics; it is one of the quintessential emo-pop tracks of its time. The band certainly go back to their punk-rock roots for this number, with ace bounding around the stage with youthful abandon, and leaning out over the crowd with the zeal of a man who could’ve written this song yesterday, let alone 16 years ago.
The show is brought to a close with the poignant alternative-indie of ‘Tell Me Why’, the lead single from 2012’s In Currents. There is no doubt that The Early November has nailed the setlist; celebrating 10 years of The Mother, The Mechanic and The Path in style. The encore gives fans old and new exactly what they want to hear-there’s definitely something for everyone.
Based on the set, and the final attendance, this won’t be the last these shores see of The Early November. In the end, the room definitely wasn’t too cold.