Bringing a tropical aura to a cold night at Nottingham's Rescue Rooms, Benedict Watson reviews Cassia's relaxed and enjoyable show.
With Halloween over and the clocks going back, I made a desperate attempt to keep the summer going by seeing tropical indie-pop band Cassia at Rescue Rooms. I was very much looking forward to a night of bongo drums and instantly catchy guitar riffs, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The tour organisers did a fantastic job of finding two support acts who were very much in Cassia’s niche of indie. Firstly, German 19-year old Donkey Kid took to the stage, with a backing band joining him. A sprightly half-hour ensued, with influences ranging from Tame Impala to The Smiths. For such a young performer, surely on his first tour of the UK, he looked comfortable on stage and gave a performance which rewarded those who made the decision to come down to Rescue Rooms early.
''Surprisingly – given that this was the Powerlines EP tour, Cassia started with some of their older songs''
Next up was Tayo Sound, who made the jump up to the main stage after playing the Red Room at Rescue Rooms at Dot To Dot Festival in September. Tayo Sound was one who got away for me at Dot To Dot (there were some horrible clashes!), so I was very happy to see that he was supporting Cassia. Armed with an acoustic guitar and joined by a keyboardist, it was a chilled set of hip-hop infused indie, starting with hit Runaway. He gave a charming performance, teaching the crowd the words to Someone New and shouting out one of his Discord group members who was in the crowd. An interesting decision to finish on an unreleased song didn’t harm what was a thoroughly enjoyable set.
At 9:30, the lights went down and the intro to Do Right got the crowd moving before Cassia’s lead singer Rob Ellis had even taken to the stage. The Macclesfield three-piece set up in an interesting triangle shape, with Ellis singing from the far left of the stage, although he often moved to the centre in instrumental sections. Surprisingly – given that this was the Powerlines EP tour, Cassia started with some of their older songs, with Sink from their debut album Replica being particularly enjoyable. They then moved into some newer songs like Vitamins and Slow, even treating the crowd to unreleased song Similar – which seems destined to become a classic Cassia hit.
''The room had a jubilant atmosphere as everyone enjoyed the ray of sunshine that Cassia provided on stage''
Having been to some pretty sweaty gigs recently, it was nice to be part of a much more chilled crowd where you could just relax and enjoy the music without fear of being shoved by the opening of a mosh pit! That’s not to say that the crowd weren’t up for it though, the room had a jubilant atmosphere as everyone enjoyed the ray of sunshine that Cassia provided on stage. The lighting was very effective in providing the beach sunset vibe that Cassia’s music lends itself so well to – Ellis also sported a pink Hawaiian shirt to further the fun. It was clear that the band really enjoy playing live - Ellis would often shout ''Yes people!'' after the crowd sung-along in a way which suggested that he wasn’t used to large crowds. They are in fact an experienced band who have probably played similar shows many times before, but it really felt like he was grateful for our presence.
This gig definitely broke the record for the shortest encore wait I’ve ever seen, with the band barely making it off stage before returning for a couple more! Biggest hit 100 Times Over brought the phone cameras out in the crowd as people sought to capture this joyous gig, which was sadly brought to an end by the recently released Gotta Get Through Til Monday. Nevertheless, as winter beckons, Cassia provided a night of summer bliss which left a smile on everyone’s faces.
Written by: Benedict Watson
Edited by: Amrit Virdi