CUB FEST 2017 // THE WELLY, HULL

LOUIS BERRY, ELIZA AND THE BEAR, CLEAN CUT KID AND MORE PLAY THAT'S YEAR'S CUB FEST 2017 IN HULL

★★★

I headed down to the inaugural Cub Fest at the Welly Club in Hull. For a first time festival it hosted an impressive line-up of some of the country’s best up and coming indie bands across its two rooms and for £15 a ticket it was a fantastic addition to the hull music scene.

The first band were Hull locals Mauritia self proclaimed as “a cohesive collaboration of indie and pop. Combining the rhythmical catchy lyrics of popular music with intricate, syncopated and melodic indie guitar based riffs” they were a fantastic start to the festival and started the party in the main room. Having a home crowd advantage, they were funny and engaged with the audience. Check out their song “Sugar Rush” it will definitely get you bouncing around the room. 

Yasmin Coe was the first band in the second room which sadly didn’t have any stage lights which made it hard for the audience to see who was playing! Yasmin is a 16 year old singer/songwriter from Hull. She has already recorded a session for BBC introducing and its clear this woman will go far. Tonight she is performing with her band, her music is indie-rock and “Smoke” was a great song that showed off her style.

Stereo Honey was next up, a 21st Century band with an 80’s-electro feel. After meeting at university, this band have spent a long time making sure that the music was right before they got out there to spread their music  to the masses.  Now they are out there it has exploded and they have some fantastic singles to entice the audience in. “The Bay” one of their more recent songs mixes the melancholy with the upbeat sound to produce a really lovely song. 

The Waives are a new wave indie band that has been around for about 18 months. Some members met at school and the 4 piece have now created their sound which is definitely The Kooks inspired. Check out the latest single from the Hull based band “what happened last night?”

Anteros are a 4 piece band from London via Barcelona, fronted by Laura Haydon. Named after the famous Shaftsbury Fountain (Anteros) in Piccadilly Circus, London, the indie-pop four piece are quite new to the UK music scene after only forming in 2016 but they have played an impressive array of festivals including Glastonbury in this short time. Lauren stalked the stage demanding the attention of every person in the room and making eye contact with each and every one. Her lyrical content and engaging stage presence make Anteros a band you want to watch live.

Paris Youth Foundation started the night’s list of Liverpool based artists. Self proclaimed as “Like all your favorite indie bands rolled into one” they have burst onto the music scene. Their sold out tours and indie anthems are catchy. They played to a packed room 2 at the Welly Club tonight. They are a fun band to watch and the singer Kevin potter’s emotive stage presence makes you listen to the lyrics all the more.

Straight after that, I went downstairs to watch the always wonderful Clean Cut Kid. They know how to take the audience on a rollercoaster of feelings and tempo. Trying out their new bass player tonight after original member Saul left earlier this month, they played the array of hits from their debut album “Felt” including the  upbeat and crowd pleasing “Vitamin C” and the beautiful and heartfelt “Evelyn”, the latter was written by the lead singer Mike  about his wife, the keyboard player in the band.  Clean Cut Kid without a doubt entertain me every single time I see them, if you haven’t caught them live yet, then you should because you will undoubtedly leave smiling. 

Island was the next band on the very dark, room 2 stage but it didn’t stop the audience heading up to see them.  After a whole summer of huge festivals and just before their headline UK and Europe tour in November it was great to see them on such a small and intimate stage. The audience was treated to some indie rock, perfectly summed up by their latest single “Try”.

Eliza and the Bear really ramped up the energy in the main room at the Welly Club. Tracks like ‘Light It Up’ and ‘Brother’s Boat’ made their set universally cheery and loved by everyone in the room. It’s impossible to feel down or remain still at an Eliza and the Bear show and that’s exactly what they want. They laughed and joked with the audience like they were old friends and the friendship onstage was obvious. It was like going to watch your mates at a gig….. but these are very talented mates. The London based band formed in 2011 and have gone from strength to strength. Their indie pop fills intimate venues like this  and huge stadiums with the same excitement and joy. 

The liverpudlian quartet The Night Café were on form tonight, their pop indie had the dark room moving around and enjoying the night. They played a number of songs from their latest album “Felicity” that was released this year. The title track form the album is without a doubt the best song on there and I loved hearing it live. 

Will Joseph Cook was the headliner in room 2. He stepped up to the plate and performed songs from his fantastic album “Sweet Dreamer”. An eclectic album that shows a range of styles from pop through indie to acoustic.  While only just leaving his teens, Cook knows  how to perform and although the headline acts were both scheduled to start at the same time he had pulled a significant crowd to listen to his music. 

The headline act for the main room was the spectacular Louis Berry. Liverpool born and bred, Louis ‘music is not what you expect to hear when you hear him speak. With musical influences ranging from Jonny Cash to Tupac his music is just different. The lyrics are from the heart ad the guitar riffs get you up and dancing. There was a real buzz waiting for Louis to come out and the whole room was chanting his name. by the time he entered the stage the room exploded in cheers. Louis may only have started getting noticed recently but his popularity is growing rapidly. Plays on major radio stations and huge sets at Leeds and reading festival show that although he is different to a lot of what we hear on the radio at the moment….. Maybe that’s exactly what we need. Louis exudes confidence on the stage and you can’t help but smile along with him, on stage is where he has fun and we are all along for the ride. “ 25 reasons “ and “Restless” are huge crowd pleasers that saw audience members on shoulders, singing and dancing along, while slower songs like “The Wind Changes” showed off his beautiful lyrics and unique storytelling ability. Please go and see Louis Berry live, he is special and definitely a breath of fresh air in a saturated music market.

REVIEW + PHOTOS BY: LAURA TOOMER PHOTOGRAPHY