Photo © Graham Finney Photography
It’s Friday night in Leeds and, by the time Sam Fender gets ready to take to the stage at about quarter to nine, the Chapel is positively rammed. The Chapel may not be the biggest venue but, situated in the back room of another of Leeds well known venues, The Church, there must be a couple of hundred people packed in here as the Geordie singer-songwriter arrives in town with his band for the latest date on his pretty much sold-out UK tour which included a third London date.
At the young age of 22, the fact that Fender is already playing on a sold-out tour and has a track on the latest Fifa game shows that the Geordie boy is pushing all the right buttons. Sadly, this isn’t the case here where, early on in the set, any momentum is lost when the musician loses all power to his guitar. Up to that point, admittedly only a couple of songs in, the young Geordie had already won over this equally young (and predominantly female) crowd with his raw indie rock. In recent reviews, comparisons have been made to a young Bruce Springsteen and, during one of a number of breaks where one of the road crew prods and pokes Fender’s effects board, the Geordie fills time with some impressive acapella Springsteen.
It’s also during this time that you realise how Fender is still a young lad growing up in the public eye none more so that when he tries to fill time with some awkward banter. However, put a guitar in his hand and this guy is dynamite as the likes of “Millenium” and “That Sound” demonstrate. It might be early days in his career but, with a CV rapidly building up with great material and some very influential fans, there is only one way Sam Fenders career is going despite the odd stuttering night like this one.