Amidst the smoke of Sneaky Pete’s incense burning Pink Panther, CHILDCARE’s support climb on the intimate stage in the form of Lazy Day: a female fronted coming-of-age indie band with a keen desperation to be heard. With the members of CHILDCARE supporting in the crowd, the audience was keen to hear them too. A highlight can be found in their performance of ‘The Way That You Move’ as the three guitarists sway in a choreographed unison, and act that was to some effect corny, but memorable nonetheless. Lazy Day emit an energy of sheer joy to have the opportunity to join CHILDCARE on tour, seeming not to feel the first-night nerves. They are a band that shows promise, especially in such a time that female-fronted guitar bands are rising to such prominence – take Wolf Alice’s success with the Mercury Prize as credence for this.
Shortly after, CHILDCARE take to the stage, their own neon sign hanging earnestly beside them. Clad in an “I am the Sausage Man” t-shirt, frontman Ed Cairns, described by his bandmates later in the show as “[a] big British boy with a big British haircut” initiates the “luckyucker meditation” sequence, intended to engage the crowd as it climaxed with chants of “when I die I will die listening to CHILDCARE.” This was cataclysmically unsuccessful. Perhaps the skit would be better if the band were entertaining the capacity of an arena brimmed with die-hard fans: the antithesis of the evening.
Though their set was not a disappointment, the first half was predominantly lacking. Showcasing new tracks ‘Man Down’ and ‘Magazines’ proved their talent and effortless chemistry, yet failed to promote any substantial response from the crowd, with no less than two individuals embellishing themselves as fervent fans.
This passivity within the crowd transformed within the set’s closers. Gifting the fans who evidently were not familiar with their newest pop-feats with three of their arguably most popular songs, their reason for attending was evident. Beginning this triumphant conclusion to a less-than-energetic gig was ‘Omega’, running fast into ‘Kiss’. The reception to them was no less than phenomenal, a fact reflected in the pleasure of the band, seeming reignited by the unwavering passion in the room. Rounding up the evening with ‘Film Club’, the band seemed too lost in their own excitement to focus, having to restart the track with bassist Rich struggling to keep up with the pace.
Despite this rocky start, the band could not have ended on a greater high, exhibiting an affluence of promise and talent, which when combined with their utmost humble nature in greeting all and any fans as they sold their own merch after the gig, labels them as a band who deserve to prosper in this challenging industry.
Image: Bethany Davison