Gig review – Our City Fires at The Soundhouse, Friday 28th September 2023

Our City Fires. Photo Kevin Gaughan

with Passive Fix, The Fever Kings and Settlements

Reviewed by Kara Costall

Upon entering the venue, the first support act Passive Fix, were already in full swing. A Midlands-based male quartet, with a striking sound, utilising saxophones but not in the usual way brass instruments are included in traditional band formation; no ska vibes.

The sound was esoteric; trippy, darker and experimental with a varying speed and reminded me of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. Indeed, a band to watch out for.

Passive Fix. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

On the subject of Kings, the next act were The Fever Kings. They hail from The North East, although the guitarist and vocalist, Jack Songer, who looks slightly like a young Tim Wheeler, derives from Norwich. A very competent (and topless!) drummer combined with a keyboardist and bassist complete the four-piece.

Melodic tunes are their forte, somewhat Idlewild–like with occasional backing chorus screams from the bassist and synths player.

Guitar changes and the use of pedal effects were evident. They sandwiched their slower songs in between their faster ones. Their fourth song and probably their quietest Ain’t Gonna Say A Word will be featured on their EP, which will be released next year. I can imagine this tune with its catchy chorus being played on radio stations in Newcastle and beyond.

The Fever Kings. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Settlements from Norwich were the third act on. The lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist was very expressive with his Elvis moves and hair flicks. For their penultimate song they played a cover of DeftonesMy Own Summer (Shove It) and ended with an original song, which was fast and definitely showed their strength.

The highlight for me was the lead guitarist and his ingenious use of the mic stand for guitar slide effects!

Settlements. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

The main act of the evening Our City Fires, certainly have a following here in Leicester. Fans created a mini mosh-pit and were singing along to choruses and chanting their name to The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, in between songs.

Our City Fires. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

It was impressive to see the lead vocalist had brought his own wireless mic and pedestal, which he kept diving on and off of at relevant parts  – he certainly has a way of captivating an audience.

Our City Fires were in their element when the lead and rhythm guitarist interacted with one another. They both leant over the monitors whilst playing to accompany the vocalist; idols reaching out to their spectators. One notable thing for me was that they have no bassist, although the bass is on a backing track along with additional backing vocals.

Our City Fires. Photo (c) Our City Fires

The drummer’s use of the snare is prominent and creates tension in their songs along with Foo Fighters inspired riffs. Just Come Home was an apt song to end on, which led to an encore.

Our City Fires. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

What struck me the most about the evening was the support and respect between all the bands.

Three of the four male quartets will be touring over the weekend, each taking their turn as the main act in their home city. Our City, Leicester, was definitely on fire! (well, at the Soundhouse anyway!).

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