Flyte – Fallow Cafe, Manchester – 25/05/17

“Do you like my David Attenborough t-shirt? My mom got it for me. Really rock ’n ’roll” grins vocalist/guitarist Will Taylor. To completely contrast Monday’s tragedy, the light from the warm summer eve drips gently through Fallow Café’s windows to hand a warm welcome to Flyte. Bursting onto the scene back in 2013, the London quartet have just returned from an extended Australian holiday to record their debut album. Just because they’ve been quiet doesn’t mean they’ve lost fans, however; on the contrary, the room is crammed way before the band have even set up.

2015’s ‘Closer Together’ kicks us off, sounding similar to fellow happy-go-lucky indie boys Peace – but we’re then told that old songs won’t dominate the set to make way for new material. With Flyte’s infectious back catalogue, it’s definitely a shame – but rolling into the quintessentially English ‘Echoes’ definitely makes up for it.

The four are ridiculously tight throughout the set, eager to showcase their enviable talent to the energetic crowd. Brand new tunes such as ‘Sliding Doors’ and ‘Harley Street’ display some beautiful harmonies as well as Sam Berridge’s insane keyboard skills. Nick Hill’s funky bass riff in ‘Little Whites Lies’ is fantastic, an ode to Tame Impala’s groovy Currents era. It looks like Flyte’s time with producer Burke Reid has really paid off.

We’re treated to two covers – Liv’s ‘Wings of Love’ and Alvvway’s ‘Archie Marry Me’ – that show us the band’s multi-instrumentalist flair, with drummer Jon Supran switching to electric guitar whilst Berridge takes up an acoustic. “Sometimes we do covers of annoyingly obscure songs” admits Taylor. Judging by the mass sing-a-long around the room, nobody here is complaining.

Latest and greatest single ‘Victoria Falls’ is the highlight of the night, before the quartet make a bold move and take the first encore I’ve ever seen in the tiny venue. This is literally a three-second step to the left for Taylor and Hill, and then back to business. The atmosphere is close, with an abundance of banter between band and audience. Flyte have always had an air of sophisticated nostalgia about them that sets them apart from their contemporaries – something a little more mature, perhaps.

A teething problem with Taylor’s guitar means that it’s difficult to hear him play – but the four are stage connoisseurs. Unfazed, they grab their instruments and walk into the middle of the audience, breaking into their oldest and most tender number to date, ‘Faithless’. In the presence of such a successful show, it’s a heart-warming reminder that even in the darkest of times, the music community never fails to come together to provide a safe haven for all.

Catch Flyte live:

May 26 – Nottingham – Chameleon Arts Cafe

May 27 – Newcastle – Surf Cafe

May 28 – Glasgow – The Garage

May 31 – Birmingham – The Sunflower Lounge

June 2 – Liverpool – The Magnet

July 9 – Brockenhurst – Smoked & Uncut

July 13 – Latitude Festival

September 19 – London – Scala

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