After speaking to Mercedes Arn-Horn, vocalist and guitarist of Courage My Love a couple of weeks ago, she told us here at On Record that the band have been looking forward to getting back to British shores and playing for their dedicated fan base here in the UK since the last time they came.
Up first and the only support for the night are a band from London (and ashamedly admitted Wakefield); Chapter and Verse. The New Breed is a highlight, the harsh guitars compliment Josh Carter’s raw, emotive vocals but its closer Slave that steals the show for C&V. The melodic, anthemic vocals in the chorus are immediately memorable, the musicality of the song is massive- the guitar packs a huge punch, bass hits you around the face with a right hook and the drums complete the final knockout. Chapter and Verse should be playing to bigger crowds and venues, expect them to be touring relentlessly in 2018 and popping up at festivals and venues near you in the future.
Courage My Love open up with two big hitters from their recent release Synesthesia; Animal Heart and Walls; the tracks show a massive step up for the band who have matured so much musically in the past couple of years. Walls translates especially well live, the dreamy vocal line of the verse sounds pitch perfect and the harmonies between the siblings absolutely sublime.
Courage My Love have a setlist packed full of snappy pop rock ditties, and Love Hurts is a great example of this. The synthesisers in the track are simply mesmerising, guitarist Brandon Lockwood evidently knows some of the front row and the connection between him and the fans is great to see. Almost every song from Synesthesia gets an outing tonight and the most emotive moment of the evening goes to Need Someone. The song has an obvious negative story behind it and Mercedes ensures the crowd that, even though she is visibly upset, she has gotten over the subject matter and is a better person because of it.
There isn’t a massive crowd packed inside of the Key Club this evening, however, the dedicated few who follow the band around the country show real passion for the band. “I recognise a few faces here and I love that, it’s so great coming from another country to play to people who listen to your music”- Mercedes gushes about the crowd, furthermore stating that they will be hanging around the Merch stand after for hugs and pictures.
Dark Wood and Dark Water forces Mercedes to lose herself within the music and descend to the floor. The harmonies again in this track are hypnotic, this band show absolute togetherness and bounce off each other super well.
“We’ve never played a Leeds show without the Yorkshire chant guys… come on!” cue screams of Yorkshire! Yorkshire!
To round off the set, the band ask one of the fans from the front row to join them on the stage to play guitar with them to the song Drowning, the fan (named Mollie?) had a great stage presence and fitted in well with the band. Last track of the night Tough Love is anthemic and immediately catchy. The synths to begin the track are ridiculously memorable and you can’t help but move your feet to this tune.
Courage My Love are massively underrated within the pop rock side of music, they bring a fresh synthesised edge to the scene. But it’s the harmonies that are the standout element of this band, everything note perfect. The way the band have matured is refreshing to see at even such a young age and are destined for definite greatness in the future. Do not sleep on this band!