The Verse’s Alex Berdugo reviews Seafret at the Komedia, Monday 6th March 2017
Komedia is one of Brighton’s most revered gig venues, with a relaxed and intimate space that perfectly complements bands such as Seafret. The band brings their Yorkshire origins around the country on their first headline tour. They also celebrate the release of their debut album, Tell Me It’s Real. Alongside them were support acts Callum Stewart and Freddie Dickinson, creating a welcoming atmosphere for the main performers.
Callum Stewart was an extremely down to Earth solo artist. Playing primarily original songs, he sat alone at his keyboard. He started with a new track entitled Cling, a song that perfectly show-cased his incredible vocal control. It was immediately clear how passionate he was about his music, with the stripped back setting arousing an intensely emotional ambience. The piano playing was exceptional, the chords sucking in the audience to Stewart’s performance. Speaking in between songs, he always won the crowd over and was, overall, a fantastic opening act.
Up next was Freddie Dickinson’s set. Like Callum Stewart, Dickinson presented a bare bones performance just vocals and guitar. He had a signature style of guitar that consisted of – mostly major – barre chords played on the clean channel of his amp; underlying the sad lyrics that rode them. Dickinson’s voice contained country-esque qualities, including a wobbling vibrator that was strongly reminiscent of Brendan Flowers.
Despite the despairing tone of his songs, Dickinson was jolly and comedic whenever he interacted with the crowd. He explained that it was his first gig of the year. That the numerous Northerners on the tour bus had made matters rather confusing for him. Extremely likeable and genuine, Freddie Dickinson was the right choice to go on before Seafret.
By the time Seafret took to the stage, the audience was fully prepared and our excitement ran thick in the air. Members Jack Sedman and Harry Draper held an aura about them worthy of a headline act who had sold out the first show of their tour. The chemistry between them was something to behold. Skimming Stone demonstrated the almost perfect harmony of two musical talents. Drapers exquisite guitar skills combining with Sedman’s raw and powerful vocals. This was especially noticeable on the track Breathe – pinch harmonics impossibly mixed with finger picked chords and fantastically scratchy vocals.
Seafret took their songs to the next level with the implementation of an electronic bass pedal. Draper stamped the pedal during significant moments of their songs; bringing new life to their acoustic set. This also kept their songs from sounding similar, and held far more dynamic feel. Obviously revelling in experimenting with their tracks, the duo are open to trying new elements. As well as this, they were keen to play their new and unreleased songs, such as Monster. Unsettling chords gave the crowd a much darker feel than usual for a Seafret song, though it was refreshing in the wake of the previous tunes played.
All in all, Seafret were exceptional. The whole night was filled to the brim with unrelenting musical talent. Climaxing with the one of the best live acoustic performances I have ever seen. Komedia was the ideal venue to see them, and I can only hope they will return sometime in the near future.