Oporto is yet another small Leeds venue with ideas above its station yet still manages to pull it off, playing host to a number of stellar gigs, featuring mainly acts on an upward curve. Tonight it’s the turn of surf dudes Sunset Sons, a trio of Brits and an Australian whose paths first crossed at a bar in Hossegor down in the south-west of France. Since that fateful meeting, they’ve traded-in a little wave time for the rock and roll lifestyle, a self-promoted debut ‘Le Surfing’ EP making the Top Ten on the iTunes rock chart earlier in the year.
Their cult following amongst the surfing brotherhood has resulted in a recent deal with Polydor records and that, combined with the appearance of new track ‘She Wants’ on the Radio 1 playlist has propelled their latest release ‘No Bad Days’ EP into the top three on the aforementioned hit-parade. Tonight they’ve parked their familiar red Transit in Leeds for yet another sold-out show, one of a dozen British dates on this brief tour concluding in Perranporth….no surprises there.
Opener ‘Know My Name’ borrows a bit too much from ‘Kings of Leon’ for my liking but don’t let that put you off. New EP track ‘Come Easy’ expertly combines sleazy riff with taut beat, producing an infectious groove taking the eager crowd right along with them. ‘She Wants’ is similarly funky and catchy in equal measure, everyone singing along to the chorus, clearly more familiar with the material than yours truly and you have to say the atmosphere at this cracking little venue is once again electric, the quartet sounding really crisp and tight knit with vocalist/keyboard player Rory holding sway, ably backed up by guitarist Rob, Pete on bass and Jed on drums.
‘I Can’t Wait’ is next, a ballad that goes all country half way through and then we get new song ‘Somewhere’ followed by ‘Medicine’, ‘No Way Home’ ‘Blondie’ and another crowd favourite ‘Remember’ who sing back to the band as the technician on the sound desk frantically tries to sort out an issue with the band’s back stage projector screen. Technical glitches out of the way, the main set closes with the splendid denouement from their new EP ‘Watch Your Back’.
The encore consists of the laid-back acoustic number ‘Loa’ complete with more audience participation and ‘On the Road’ proves a fitting finale to a band unlikely to be seen at a venue this size for some considerable time, unless you manage to catch them amongst friends playing some surfer bar. Watch this space.
Words - Mike Price
Buy 'No Bad Days' Here