It was refreshing to go a gig, particularly an indie gig, where the stage wasn’t dominated by all-male performers. The first support of the night came from Jesse Jo Stark, an LA based singer-songwriter whose dramatic vocals and sultry guitar was reminiscent of old school rock ‘n’ roll. With elements that resembled a combination of Arctic Monkeys, Lou Reed and Lana Del Rey, Jesse Jo Stark set the bar high for the evening. Following this performance was Miya Folick whose captivating vocals transformed the remaining rock and roll vibes of Jesse Jo Stark into something far more ethereal. The surprising contrast of these talented support acts provided the perfect warm up for Sunflower Bean.
Lead vocalist of Sunflower Bean, Julia Cumming, looked enviably cool as she walked on stage wearing electric blue eyeliner, a sheer dress and sparkly boots to match. As the second gig of their UK tour the band started the set with ‘Burn it’, the guitar heavy opening track from their new album Twentytwo in Blue. Sunflower Bean also treated the audience to their dreamy single ‘Twentytwo’, a singalong crowd-pleaser full of nostalgia and coming of age.
Sunflower Bean have a brilliant onstage presence and the new addition of a keyboard player brought an extra dimension to the set. The band all bounced off each other and Nick Kivlen’s spontaneous guitar solos demonstrated the proficiency of Sunflower Bean as their set moved between glam rock, psychedelia and post-punk. During their performance of ‘Crisis-Fest’, the political homage to the ‘crisis’ of Trump’s America, Julia encouraged the crowd to chant ‘NO, NO, NO’. It was amusing that all the bands of the evening couldn’t really understand why the British version of a rowdy crowd was nowhere near as rowdy as those in America. However, the audience certainly loved Sunflower Bean as the band delivered an energetic and impressively dynamic set.
Sunflower Bean are set to continue their UK tour until December 1st and their new EP comes out in January so if you can’t catch them on tour then make sure to give it a listen.
Featured image: Erina Uemura