7th October at Leeds’ The Fox & Newt ended up a very different gig than first mapped by Bad Apple Music Group. After Cascade sadly pulled out of their co-headline tour with Camens — who fortunately still made the journey from Stoke-on-Trent, ahead of a few shows they’d kept on their agenda — local rockers Wolforna seized the headline slot. This made room for the biggest silver lining of all: Drella opening the show. The Bradford-based trio share a studio space at Prospect with Wolforna, so it was a really exciting chance for both bands to come together.
The small-but-humble venue provided quite the contrast to Square Chapel, which Wolforna had dominated in Halifax just the week before. Bodies were rows-and-rows-deep there, and the buzz was electric. In fact, it had been a busy few days for the four-piece, who had also taken to the stage at Saltaire Festival to serve up a slice of Sunday lunchtime noise to punters of all ages in Roberts Park.
First on at The Fox & Newt was Drella. Their scuzzy riffs and raw vocals were absolutely captivating and, while they played the two tunes they have available to stream, ‘Heartstring Noose’ and ‘Hypocrisy’, they also had so much more up their sleeve. It made you feel eager to hear what might drop next from them. And after watching their storming sell-out show at Lending Room last month, it was obvious that they can’t help but bring all the same angsty energy, whatever the crowd size.
Although Camens should’ve originally been the headliner, the change in order didn’t alter their commanding performance. These guys knew exactly how to put on a really tight, lively show. Plus, it had not been long since they released their latest single; the wildly enjoyable, spin-it-again-and-again ‘Illustrator’, either. Seemingly all of a sudden, their half-hour spell was over and Camens had left everyone certainly wanting more.
As someone who’d brought with them a cluster of hopeful family and friends, I knew Wolforna’s time to shine was very much anticipated. Always with a focus on transitions and the production around a gig, the band simply can’t do lacklustre moments.
Their well-curated setlist spanned everything from the fan favourite, ‘Penrose’, to ‘In His Dreams’, which operated as a clever, tempo-reducing trick that allowed them to build back to a bigger track. And even though ‘Broken Bones and Gritty Fights’ is possibly their loudest, boldest single out, ‘Reset’ remains unreleased as yet but it’s fast become a crowd-pleaser.
Through the Wolforna-Drella camaraderie, general Friday night vibe and mix of close supporters in the room, there was a distinctly celebratory feel to it all. It was a deft display of three bands massively on the rise right now — and deservedly so. If ever there were multiple bandwagons to jump on…