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Fort Hope @ Patterns – Live Review

On May 24th, Patterns welcomed to its stage Fort Hope, a three-piece British rock band, following the April release of their latest EP, ‘Manne of Lawwe’. The band, who stemmed from the disbanded electronic rock group My Passion in 2013, have received steady success over the past few years, becoming a regular addition to the Radio 1 schedule and the line-up of various festivals. In all honesty, I had never heard of them before, but a quick listen to them on YouTube intrigued me to see them live, as their songs and videos feature intense energy, and many comments confirmed that they were worth seeing.

My curiosity and willingness to attend almost any live music event – combined with the lack of much else to do on a Tuesday evening – meant that I found myself down at Patterns, pint in hand and looking forward to what I was about to see, regardless of lack of previous knowledge, especially compared to the obvious fans of the band who were surrounding me.

There is something quite thrilling about seeing an artist you have little knowledge of or preconceptions about, especially when there is a certain buzz to the venue when you enter, as there was in Patterns. When they took to the stage, the band received a spirited welcome, escalating this pre-gig buzz, and instantly making me warm to them. Despite the wonderful and fun energy, it has to be admitted that the music, lyrical themes and aesthetic of the band are hardly original, with them initially seeming like a cookie-cutter alternative rock band. However, the generic aspects of Fort Hope were redeemed by the marvellous voice of the lead singer and guitarist, Jon Gaskin. The vocals of the frontman were filled with energy, and had a charming and engaging tone, with the performances of ‘Give Me That’ and ‘People of the Lake’ being stand-out songs flaunting his voice. This voice was backed up by a punchy bassline and drum beat that hits you in the core, and leaves you wanting more of what they have to offer.

While Patterns was hardly filled to the brim, it was clear that the trio have a solid fan base, as demonstrated by the front few rows filled with people who were singing along to every word. In fact, during the fan-favourite ‘Sick’, it was easy to feel in the minority by not knowing all of the lyrics. However, the catchy refrains and clarity of Gaskin’s voice makes the lyrics memorable to the point that even a newcomer like me can find themselves singing along by the second chorus. In fact, the vibe of the crowd and the energy that the eager trio exude makes it difficult to not want to join in.

There is nothing ground-breaking about Fort Hope, but they execute ‘run-of-the-mill’ with great success and undeniable talent. Further still, the impressive vocals and infectious enthusiasm are their trump cards, which left me wondering if perhaps we’ll see a bit more of Fort Hope in the future.

Sophie Clark

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