I had the pleasure of catching Brighton based outfit Fear of Men as part of the wonderful Sounds From The Other City Festival which took place in Salford last month, and it was their simplistic indie pop melodies that won over my heart and have refused to leave my head since! So, hence why I’m here this evening to witness the quartet play one of Manchester’s bigger venues, The Ritz, supporting everyone’s favourite Californian surf pop duo ‘Best Coast’.
With local kids ‘Pins’ kicking off this evenings proceedings nicely and the venue begins to fill up as Fear Of Men take to the stage. Greeted with cheers from an excitable crowd, the quartet launch into the brooding rhythms of a new track provisionally titled ‘Your Side’. From the off, it seems that the band have been preparing for these bigger gigs as a confidence glistens within all four members, particularly in frontwoman Jess Weiss who spends the opening tune without her guitar, dancing around the stage, flicking her long locks about, loosing herself within the song; it’s a strong start!
The band then launch into uplifting guitar pop of ‘Ritual Confession’. With a guitar part that is reminiscent of The Cure’s classic ‘Friday I’m In Love’ it’s clear that guitarist Daniel Falvey is influenced by 80’s indie rock his with simple, innocent and catchy hooks brightening up every song. Haven’t previously seen the band in the slightly cosier setting of Salford’s Islington Mill venue, it definitely seems that these songs translate well on a bigger stage; the driving beat of set highlight ‘Doldrums’ seeming to go down especially well with nodding heads around the room.
With a wave of American acts currently coming through an arsenal with sun soaked indie pop tunes under their belts, it’s refreshing to see a British band making the same breezy pop tones but by putting a very British spin to create some really classic sounding songs. Tonight Fear of Men gave a much more assured performance than my previous encounter with them, proving they could adapt to playing a bigger room and that the future is looking pretty bright for them.