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Before heading out on their first UK headline tour, hotly-tipped synthpop band Prides played an intimate set at the Red Lion in Lonsdale college. Performing some of their biggest songs to date, including ‘The Seeds You Sow’ and ‘I Should Know You Better’, their instantly memorable choruses proved a hit with the sizable crowd which had flocked to Lonsdale bar.
After a busy summer touring the festivals and sharing the stage with Kylie Minogue at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, the Glasgow based outfit began their set with a stripped back version of current single ‘I Should Know You Better’, where the positive lyrics “I know that we will live forever” made an undeniable homage to Oasis. From the beginning Prides proved how slick they are live, merging the use of keyboards and electronic drums seamlessly.
Breakthrough single ‘The Seeds You Sow’ followed, again played in a different style than on the record, but still retaining the anthemic build of the chorus, which drove the song to impressive heights.
The crowd was then treated to an exclusive performance of upcoming-album track ‘Higher Love’, which used progressive piano chords as the basis of the song. The harmonising of lead singer Stewart Brock with his bandmates gave us a sign of things to come from their debut, set for release in early 2015.
The next song they played, ‘Out of the Blue’, is one that will be enjoyed by players of FIFA 15 for the next year, as it features on the new edition of the game. Many smaller artists who have appeared on a FIFA soundtrack have gone on to great success, Kasabian, John Newman and Chvrches being just three examples.
Prides closed the set with the well-received ‘Messiah’, the song that pushed them into the public eye thanks to numerous plays on BBC Radio 1 (and being featured in Andrew Sharp’s ‘You Need to Know’ column in SCAN earlier this year no doubt doubled the listeners too). It is likely that not too far down the line, festival crowds will relish singing along to the repeated bridge of “So say it, say it, say you’ll be my Messiah”.
At the end of the gig, the band stayed around to speak to the appreciative fans, and I managed to grab a word with frontman Stewart Brock:
You’ve had a pretty incredible summer, but what was the highlight for you guys?
The Commonwealth Games was certainly up there because it gave us the chance to perform in front of such a large audience, allowing lots of people to hear our music for the first time. Then at Reading and Leeds we headlined the BBC Introducing stage which was great. The really good thing about BBC Introducing is the location of the stage itself; it’s right in the middle of the main arena so even passers-by can watch.
You’re about to head out on a headline tour later this month, but do you still enjoy playing smaller shows like tonight?
It’s funny, we launched a thing called Prides Club, where basically we go and play in people’s front rooms. To go from the Commonwealths, to Reading and Leeds to someone’s front room is quite a difference! But no, we love playing smaller shows because it gives us the chance to grow as a band and get to know fans in a closer setting.
Having drawn favourable comparisons to fellow Glaswegians Chvrches, do you think there is a bright future for synthpop as a genre?
I hope so! What we have noticed is that there seems to be a real interest in it over in America. Chvrches are big over there, and we’ve had a positive response to our music from US fans as well. But it’s the genre of music I like to play and listen to, so I hope it has a big future all over the world!
After the tour, what have you got planned for the rest of your year and early 2015?
Just getting our album completely done. We feel it’s almost there, so now we’re fine-tuning before a little more promotion and then the release. We’ve got the tour to look forward to first though, so we’ll be sure to make the most of that!
Lonnie Live is hosted fortnightly in the Red Lion on Wednesday evenings. It sees artists from the university, the Lancaster area and some big names from further afield.