Leaf is not your average venue. Decorated with candles, fairy lights and disco balls, it’s no student union or dingy club. The cosy, living room atmosphere was the perfect setting to watch three pretty exciting new bands on a rainy Friday evening.
First up were Hooton Tennis Club; who not only had an unusual name, but an unusual setup too. Their bassist was positioned centre stage, but didn’t say a word. Instead the role of lead singer alternated between the two guitarists on each song. It had a call-and-response effect, heightened by their sing-speak vocals. In terms of sound, it’s infused with surf rock, whilst being reminiscent of something like The Shins. 'Kathleen Sat On The Arm Of Her Favourite Chair' was definitely the highlight.
Next were Moats, another local band. The first thing to be noticed was their stage presence, which is always a good sign. They paired strong vocals with well constructed melodies. This stood out particularly on ‘Toothache‘,which also consisted of some Foals-esque guitars. The crowd were also treated to a cover of Grease’s, ‘You’re The One That I Want’, which could have been horrendous but these guys know what they’re doing.
Childhood got straight into it, opening with ‘Blue Velvet’. Compared to the two previous bands they lacked stage presence and looked a bit bored throughout, playing one song after another and barely pausing for a break. However, when new single ‘Falls Away‘ came along halfway through, followed by another newer track ‘Pinballs’, the previous haze of jangly guitar music was separated by some darker, slower melodies.
They played ten songs in total; a combination of upcoming album tracks with previous singles, ending on crowd pleaser ‘Solemn Skies’. Childhood are a band that are impossible not to like. Their music is well rounded and makes easy listening, it’s just a shame they didn't interact much.