Grace reviews Larkins at The Bodega: something ‘pretty special’

Named after poet Phillip Larkin, this Manchester (Glossop, specifically) foursome hit the Bodega on Monday and it was an incredible night. Their eclectic indie sound filled the venue, as well as filling the heart of every fan there. The gig was close, fun and you could tell it meant something important to both the crowd and the band, this intimacy making it their ‘best show yet’.

I was lucky enough to catch up with the band before the gig, excited to get to know a bit about them. It was a quick chat (I was conscious of interrupting the meal/feast they were enjoying at Revolucion de Cuba), but enough to get to know the group. 

                                                                 (l-r: Henry, Josh, Dom and Joe)

They started in college as a bit of a joke, but after one show and bassist Henry joining the group they began to take things a bit more seriously. We’re so glad they did. Their music is inspired by the need to move out of a small town and get onto bigger things and that angst seems to be what drives the edge in their sound. 

The boys were excited to play The Bodega, having played it before but never having played a sold-out crowd. Frontman Josh said he liked to ‘see the whites of the eyes’ of fans in more intimate shows, and this closeness followed through into their set. 

You could tell they were excited to give it their all, and they definitely did just that. 

The two support acts were great; up-and-coming Notts group My Pet Fauxes stood out. They performed as though it was their own show, joining the crowd in celebrating afterwards. There was a palpable eagerness though; the crowd waiting expectantly for 9:00pm, for Larkins to come on stage.

Performing for an hour, the set never faltered, the excitement only building up throughout.

Five songs stood out to me: Pieces, Are We Having Any Fun Yet, TV Dream, Pink and Blue and River Bed (add to your playlists people). The lyrics are nothing short of poetic (note TV Dream’s ‘take my lungs if you need to breathe’). Mixed with their funk fused rock sound, it creates a loud and passionate gig experience. 

When I met with them earlier, Josh said River Bed was his most personal song, introducing it in the gig as his ‘best’. It was a touching and bass-filled five minutes, capturing their expert mix of intimate, hook-filled music. 

There was a point where Josh joined the crowd, fans forming a circle around him. Illuminated only by iPhone torches and a spot light, he sang directly to his fans. Having never experienced a gig so personal, this moment will stay as a point of comparison for a long time: it was stunning.

The night was faultless. The crowd sang back every word, making the band smile on stage. It makes a gig when you can tell it means as much to the band as the fans, and it was definitely the case here. Keep your eyes out for what this band do next, big things are definitely on the way. 

(All pictures: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4f6q46HEZJ/, @shots.by.tom)