By Milan Perera, Second Year English Literature and Community Engagement
They are young, bold and brilliant. The Birmingham-based indie rock band overpass have made their entry into the hallowed halls of rock and roll with a string of show-stopping singles since their inception two years ago.
Their debut single ‘One Night Lover’ raked up some 6000 streams in its first week on Spotify. The PR and marketing were almost negligible as they were still finding their feet in the music scene. The dynamic quartet made their presence felt in the indie scene in the most emphatic fashion. After playing support gigs to fellow indie bands such as The Snuts and The Lottery Winners, Overpass have embarked on a UK-wide headline tour which saw them play at iconic venues such Jacaranda in Liverpool and Kasbah in Coventry. Their stop at Bristol’s Crofters Rights was certainly an electrifying evening much to the delight of their ever-growing fandom.
The evening kicked off in style with Bristol-based alt-rock band, Enter Red. They obliterated the job description of ‘support act’ as they played hit after hit of their original material for the next 30 minutes. The four-part cohort displayed dazzling virtuosity with their riffs, baselines, catchy beats and searing vocals while playing their popular tracks such as ‘Motions’ and ‘Pin’ drops.
Overpass entered the stage amidst a roaring reception from the adoring crowd and launched their headline bill with anthem ‘Stop The Clock’. The thematic base line played by India Armstrong was sweetened into a guitar riff of elegance by lead guitarist Elliot Rawlings, until vocalist Max Newbold rendered his soaring vocals. All throughout Joe Gallagher kept a firm but dynamic infused drum beat.
For the next hour the band set out to play a string of hit singles such as ‘On Your Own’, ‘Cocoon’, ‘Meant to be’ and ‘Changes’. Popular anthems such as ‘One Night Lover’ and ‘Fugitive’ went down a treat with the crowd as lead vocalist Newbold invited the intimate audience to join him in singing the chorus.
Overpass’ lyrics have the rare juxtaposition of poetic beauty and a robustness akin to acts such The Vaccines,but without ever stacking it up with layers and layers of expletives. The evening was rounded off with the energetic single ‘Otherside of Midnight’.
The rapport between band and audience was immediate and sincere as they stayed behind for a quick chat with fans while signing autographs and posing for selfies without the slightest irritation.
This dynamic quartet of Midland musicians are ably supported by the dedicated managing duo Fred and Zoe as they navigate the vast terrain of live music. I had the opportunity to meet with Fred after the show, who reiterated that the band are in no rush to release an EP or an album anytime soon, as they are more keen on establishing themselves as a force to reckon with in the indie scene.
In an era of manufactured acts backed by music moguls to cater to certain demographics, Overpassare a breath of fresh air. Their winter tour continues until the 20th December, where they will undoubtedly play to a packed audience in Brighton’s Hope and Ruin.
Featured image: Milan Perera
Have you listened to overpass?