Live Review: The Escape Artist / Delaire the Liar / Chapter and Verse @ The Parish, Huddersfield - 17/05/19

Photo: Ashlea Bea

Words by Maddy Howell

Throughout the last few years there has been a steady rise of British bands with expansive sounds and impeccable live shows to match. From the catharsis of Brighton’s boisterous Black Peaks, to the emotional power of Holding Absence, British music appears to be on the up once more. Looking to not only to join the ranks of such bands, but to form a ‘new breed’ of their own is London’s Chapter and Verse, and on their debut headline tour, the quintet make a stop at Huddersfield to recruit new members to their cause.

Following a propitious opening set from Sheffield up-and-coming pop-rockers Your Life & Mine, Hull quintet The Escape Artist take to the stage, launching into a rousing rendition of single Daydreaming. With some hometown friends having made the journey west for the show, scattered singalongs begin to splinter through the shuffling Huddersfield crowd, as bodies edge closer and closer to the stage.

Finding a perfect balance between frontman Ashley Mather’s soaring clean vocals and a backing of grating screams, The Escape Artist radiate a passionate energy reminiscent of early 2000’s alt-rock mainstays Funeral For A Friend and Story of the Year. Between the euphoric shouts of latest single All Good Things, the Counterparts-esque breakdowns and the powerhouse vocals of upcoming track Eclipse, The Escape Artist find their feet quickly and seamlessly, and as the set comes to a close on a united scream of, “bury me beneath my own words”, it seems clear that this five-piece are headed for much more than hometown fame.

Filling the position of main support for the tour is London two-piece Delaire the Liar, a name that has been becoming rapidly familiar in recent months. Gripping the crowd from their very first note, the duo emanates the sound of a roomful of musicians, with vocalist Ffin Colley’s silvery melodies soaring over drummer Joey Brayshore‘s thunderous rhythms.

As Colley dances across the stage emphatically, taking the small time between piercing notes to catch his breath, it’s the unstoppable energy that takes the forefront of Delaire the Liar’s set. This energy thrives within the duality between the two-piece, resulting in a captivating and haunting performance, as Bradshaw builds tension between songs with a pounding drumbeat. Latest single One of Us is the Killer proves to be a set highlight, as Colley’s vocal abilities are pushed to their limits and passion radiates from all corners of the white lamp adorned stage.

With the audience hanging on to their every word, the duo launch into a powerful rendition of single Medicine, with their engrossing eccentricity radiating the resounding success in store for the duo. The set draws to a close as Colley takes a moment to talk about the current hostile political climate, with reference to the tragedies currently taking place in Georgia, Alabama and Ireland. Though the frontman informs the crowd that Delaire the Liar are not a political band, he also proclaims that now is “not the time to take shit”, as they power into a pertinent rendition of Witch Hunt.

Throughout their short set, it’s a symbiotic partnership that seems to define Delaire the Liar, and as the last notes ring out, the duo embrace, marking another step on their incredible journey thus far.

As feet shuffle towards the stage and the crowd’s murmur begins to die down, Chapter and Verse abruptly launch into their set. The band need little introduction, with their punchy melodies and Josh Carter’s gliding vocals doing much of the talking for them, and as their opening track comes to a simmering close, Carter takes a moment to address the crowd, “We’re a band called Chapter and Verse, welcome to the new breed.”.

As not only their first headline tour, but also their first tour as a five-piece, drummer Kevin Miller joins the band whilst Ash Morton has moved onto guitar duties. This new formation not only gives the Londoners more opportunity to flesh out their older material, but also does an impressive amount of justice to the explorative soundscapes of their latest EP, 'Glow'.

Though the band rattle through tracks old and new, it’s the depth and clarity of the band’s latest EP that drives the set forwards. The poignant Ink provides a singalong moment for those eagerly gathered towards the front of the stage, with its gripping story about obsession proving both captivating and deeply emotive. However, indicative of even further growth in their sound, it’s new song Bad Blood that sets the precedent for what this band are truly capable, opening on a gritty riff and progressing into a vivacious dance along hit.

With a sound fit to fill rooms much bigger than this Yorkshire hub, it’s Carter’s faultless vocal ability and relentless showmanship that sets Chapter and Verse aside from the masses of homegrown talent currently battling for relevance. As the frontman exclaims, “this is a safe space for you to be you and you entirely - we will back you 100%”, it’s clear that Chapter and Verse are the champions of the outcasts, briefly outlining the concept of their 'new breed'.

2016 track The New Breed serves as somewhat of a mantra for the theatrics of the night, with its blistering melodies coming to a crescendo as bassist Jonny Hopwood desperately screams the emphatic line, “we’ve gotta have faith in the new breed”. It’s here that the quintet find perfect harmony in their performance, seamlessly fusing their alt-rock style with their hard-hitting heavier side.

Chapter and Verse’s ability to conjure up evocative performances at this early stage in their musical journey is beyond impressive, with the haunting The Casket demonstrating Carter’s expansive vocal range before a pounding drumbeat powers the track out. The set comes to a close on 'Glow' lead single Magazines, with an array of impressive group vocal melodies and polished screams leading up to a climactic breakdown. Between the cacophony of screams and shouts, a crowd singalong is sparked, marking a triumphant climax to a jubilant performance.

If there’s one thing that’s clear from this unassuming night in a West Yorkshire town, it’s that the new breed is here, and Chapter and Verse have proven that they are worthy leaders of the oncoming storm.