Thursday May 19th 2016
The Summer Set, with support from Sykes + The LaFontaines @ Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Our favourite pop-rockers from Arizona hit the UK for the first time in two years with their ‘Stories For Monday Tour’.
London-based three-piece Sykes are first to take to the stage tonight, giving us a taste of their infectious brand of alternative electronic pop. The band – made up of Julia on vocals, guitar and keys, Kristian on lead guitar and bass, and Will on drums – play a set of jaunty tracks with insanely catchy chorus’s that’ll get stuck in your head for days.
The LaFontaines are up next and the rap/rockers well and truly inject some much-needed energy into the room. With their cheeky and charismatic stage presence, the quintet play a blistering selection of songs from their debut album ‘Class’, older singles like ‘Shark In The Water’, and completely rock the crowd with a ridiculously fun, re-worked cover of Major Lazer’s ‘Pon De Floor.’ Hailing from Glasgow, the lads admit that this is the first time they’ve ever been to our “Island?…City?…whatever it is” – I hope they come back soon.
The gathering surge forward in anticipation of tonight’s headliners, leaving more room to dance at the back of this less-than-packed venue, giving even more of an intimate feel. It’s been two years since The Summer Set toured the UK with their ‘Legendary’ album, and it’s great to have them back. Opening with the new album’s lead single ‘Figure Me Out’, they play a killer set of tracks from across their back catalogue and, of course, from ‘Stories For Monday’ including, ‘The Night Is Young’, ‘Missin’ You’ and ‘Jean Jacket.’
While the crowd’s reaction isn’t the pop-punk-party frenzy you’d usually expect at a The Summer Set gig, the band always play an awesome show and tonight is no exception. If I had one criticism it would be that they missed an opportunity to end the set with ‘Wasted’; its ‘turn the lights off, party’s over’ chant, very fitting for the end of the night. With that being said, considering that this is the album that almost wasn’t, I can forgive that because I’m so glad it’s the album that is. I’m also glad that we can continue to enjoy The Summer Set’s music, and have nights like this, for a long time yet. I just hope that they don’t wait another two years before coming back.
On a personal, less journalistic, note…as always The Summer Set played an amazing show, full of energy and fun. We tried to make up for the lack of the usual atmosphere by dancing like crazy at the back, and even got complimented on our show of enthusiasm when talking to the guys from The LaFontaines at the end of the night. It was also great to meet and chat to The Summer Set’s Jess Bowen, Sykes and The LaFontaines while we were there – they were all absolutely lovely. I’d definitely recommend going to see The Summer Set if you’ve never been, I always describe it as being like a party no one wants to end, but don’t take my word for it, check out my vlog of the night below:
Click here to see my album review of The Summer Set’s ‘Stories For Monday’.