To celebrate the release of their first single ‘Matter of Time’, Tusk played an intimate (and free) gig at Rough Trade on Friday. With support from Cherry Hex and the Dream Church as well as Vega Bay, the night was very enjoyable and a good laugh.
Chery Hex and the Dream Church, a two piece from Nottingham made up of Alex Blake and Maddy Chamberlain, opened the show with their minimalist and moody indie-pop. Maddy’s brooding voice was accompanied by her eerily playing the glockenspiel while Alex used a heavily engineered bass as a haunting backing track. The duo has only been around for a year and their act does still need refining, but with more experience I can see the pair using their unique sound to make a name for themselves.
The second, and final support, were Vega Bay, a four-piece indie rock band from Nottingham who supported King No-One last month at Rescue Rooms. Since watching them last month, the band have massively improved and were a lot more comfortable on stage. Lead singer Sam Poyzer managed to energize the crowd and had them dancing and singing and even moshing towards the end, which was quite an achievement in the tiny venue. His playful nature and sympathy towards how expensive the drink in Rough Trade made him instantly likable and Vega Bay did a fantastic job of preparing the crowd for Tusk.
Finally, after the lights were turned off by hand (showing just how small and raw the Rough Trade is), Tusk took to the stage. The room was full of rowdy, excited and slightly intoxicated fans and the atmosphere was incredible. Tusk formed at the university of Nottingham and have played BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds 2016, and since then have been growing an army of fans from all over. The alt rock indie quintet have a Foals vibe to them and some songs have an unmistakable sound of Franz Ferdinand, breaking through the rough and passionate vocals of Ned Jones. They played a mixture of their classic well known songs as well as treating the crowd to some new music that was equally as catchy and impressive. Finally, Tusk closed with their new single ‘Matter of Time’, by which point the crowd were moshing all over again and left feeling thoroughly energized and upbeat.
Tusk play Portland café tonight (Saturday 4th November) and have many more exciting plans including more gigs and making new music. With support from BBC Introducing in the East Midlands and an ever-growing fan base, the five have an exciting future ahead of them. Definitely ones to watch out for!
Photo courtesy of Jonjo Rooney