The ‘That Sound’ singer played a blistering show on the Brighton leg of his 20-date UK tour, a show which, as is largely unusual for a performer so early in their career, remained totally alluring throughout, flowing effortlessly between tracks and attracting a wide demographic of audience.
Since his original discovery by Ben Howard’s manager, Fender has been honing his style of politically-driven swirling rock anthems, perfectly describing the trials and tribulations experienced by a young generation in the 21st century, which translate perfectly through a well-balanced live sound.
For a young man recently shot to fame, a solo artist fresh with his name in lights, it comes as perhaps a shock then that the stand-out element of the show was Fender’s lack of ego. It may be his name on the album cover, but Sam’s live shows are played with pride and are as much about audience inclusion as they are about the rest of his band, including his newly-appointed saxophone player.
The band themselves are a tight outfit, reading each other well, making for a flawless display of strong musicianship while highlighting the obvious bonds that run between them as they play harmoniously to a backdrop of satirical cartoon depictions of some, shall we say, controversial modern-day leaders.
Highlights from the evening come with ‘Dead Boys’, a beautiful track paying tribute to a number of young men who took their own lives in Sam’s hometown that creates a sense of togetherness in the room, and with title-track ‘Hypersonic Missiles’, an empowering all-out anthem taking aim at capitalism.
It seems that Sam’s ethos for songwriting and live performance is togetherness, one that carries well and makes for a blistering and emotional evening, delivering a message of hope at a time when it’s needed most.