REVIEW gig October Drift Oporto Bar, Leeds

Causing A Frenzy: October Drift Take On Leeds

October Drift have recently caused quite the media frenzy. After the band were unable to promote a post on Facebook advertising their show in Scunthorpe as a result of the profanity embedded within the town’s name, the story was picked up by a host of media outlets.

One reportage of events referred to October Drift as a boy band. Whilst ‘boy band’ is a term open to interpretation and used at one’s own discretion, it conjures up the image of a squeaky clean bunch, harmonizing about unrequited love. A quick listen to October Drift makes clear that this is not the most fitting of descriptions for the band.

Whilst there is sufficient evidence out there, on the band’s Soundcloud for example, to support the claim that October Drift aren’t a boy band, they have had relatively few releases. This adds another layer of intrigue to the frenzy surrounding the band; their debut tour sold out without the aid of social media presence.

All of this is, of course, hype and talk, and doesn’t really get to grips with who or what October Drift are. Catching the band’s show at Oporto, Leeds as a part of a large stint of UK dates, I am fortunate enough to witness October Drift do their thing.

The show in Leeds comes hot on the heels of the release of their 'Stranger Days' EP, released via Scruff of the Neck Records. The venue at Oporto Bar is an exceptionally intimate one, lending itself a strange backdrop for the high energy performance October Drift deliver. Given the band’s ability to sell out shows, it’s a shame that this isn’t the case in Leeds – admittedly, however, it is a wet Tuesday evening.

Yet, neither turn out nor grey weather dampen October Drift’s set. Opening with ‘You Are, You Are’, the four-piece play like a dizzying whirlwind from the get go. It’s little surprise that the band’s live shows attract the attention they do; they know how to fill the space with a host of relentless reverb and dynamism. The band literally fill space too - making use of the empty sofas that line the walls as an extension of the DIY stage, and, during the ethereal, hazy ‘Lost’, vocalist Kiran Roy occupies a rickety table.

Besides the charm of October Drift’s live performance, the band play together impeccably. It’s hard to pinpoint the specifics of their sound because there’s an array of different qualities at play here. That’s to say, even at their more contained, playing ‘Don’t Give Me Hope’, October Drift are entirely enigmatic.

Standing out from their performance is ‘Losing My Touch’, off of the Stranger Days EP. Vocally, it’s somewhat reminiscent of The National. That paired with a hazy drawl of reverb and relentless drumming make for a pretty spectacular performance.

Whilst the band’s endeavors with Facebook and Scunthorpe may have been a dream for the clickbait crazy, fast-paced world of online media outlets, October Drift’s set in Leeds prove that this is nowhere near as fascinating as their music sounds. Hopefully, next time the band are in town, people will catch wind of what’s in store – whether it be through word of mouth, or media frenzy.

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