Satellite Tour – Hope for the Union yet!

Satellite TourON THURSDAY the 20th Februrary Aberystwyth played host to the Satellite Tour, a new music circuit that saw three up and coming artists take the stage of the Students’ Union.

We were in for a pleasurable evening as Eliza and the Bear, Fred Page and Sons & Lovers each came on stage to give us their best. The biggest challenge we could see was how the artists would engage with the audience – we really hoped there was going to be a good audience, considering how recent numbers have been at some Union events. Luckily, Aberystwyth came out in force for some live music entertainment, and boy were they entertained!

Eliza and the Bear

Eliza and the Bear

Eliza and the Bear
Photo – Andrew Simpson

Eliza And The Bear had a difficult task as openers. They were given the lowest crowd numbers and also the highest expectations as (what I think) is the first live band to come to the union on tour since May Ball. In short, they managed to deliver. They came out an infectious ball of energy and pure summery tunes and got the audience moving. Musically a lot of songs had many current indie reference points: the skitter guitar lines of Foals, the uplifting brassy choruses of Mumford And Sons,  the tight harmonies of Stornoway, but they managed to make this mix work. From the uplifting opener ‘Friends’ to the Bombay Bicycle Club jangle pop of closer ‘It Gets Cold’ they showed a laser-esque focus in delivering exactly the kind of set needed to open this event. The way large sections of the crowd were reacting, don’t be surprised if these lot are high up in the charts by this time next year.

Fred Page

Fred Page 2

Fred Page
Photo – Andrew Simpson

When Fred Page came on stage, I wondered if he would be able to follow Eliza and the Bear with the same energy. For a lone man to come on between two bands he could have easily become the simple ‘filler’ in between. However, that was not the case. Fred Page wowed us with both some excellent songs and through his engagement of the crowd with a pretty good sense of humour and tales of the tours ventures to Pier and Why Not. His set list included just 5 songs but they were a stark contrast to what we had heard so far, with much more calmer acoustic melodies.  The track ‘Concrete’ was particularly memorable, and can be heard on soundcloud here. Another highlight was when he invited members of Eliza and the Bear and Sons & Lovers on stage to help him with a cover of John Mayer’s ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room’ which certainly got the crowd going. This mid-set more intimate session was powerful and it sure looks like Page, at just 23 has a strong career ahead of him.

Sons & Lovers

Sons & Lovers
Photo – Andrew Simpson

Sons & Lovers

With their set highly anticipated for the end of the gig, Sons and Lovers took to stage enthusiastically, front man Tom leaping about the stage, often climbing to the barriers to sing to the crowd. Their set was energetic, with never a dull moment, the band powering through their set with little interruption. Tom thanked the crowd for their support, before diving into their free single ‘Ghosts’, which the band was giving away copies of at the back of the venue. This, along with singles ‘King’ and ‘Set My Heart’ went down a storm, Aberystwyth giving a warm welcome to the London based Pop-Punk band. Sing-a-longs, hand waving and dancing were evident throughout the set, and generally the band made an excellent first impression on the Union. It would appear the feeling was mutual, with Tom appearing after the set with a broad smile on his face. At the end of the day though, the true winner was live music. Throughout all the uncertainty, somehow the Union pulled through, and showed that there is still a music scene in Aberystwyth, and with a bit of luck, perhaps these gigs will be the start of something new.

Overall, the night was a great success. We had some great acts, some superb songs and a large and excited crowd to boot. It will certainly be a night to remember in the Union for us and we look forward to seeing them again.

Satellite Tour