Alex Henry Foster hit Huddersfield’s prime hotspot for live music on Friday Night, The Parish. The Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist captivated this Northern venue alongside his talented band ‘The Long Shadows’.
First on the bill, and a perfect warm up for Alex were Halifax-based band L.O.E (Last of Eden). This fourpiece has built up quite a following over the last couple of years with their debut EP described by the likes of Radio 6 and Radio X as “An absolutely epic debut” and “Broadcasting meets Mogwai”. Their set was tight and almost entirely instrumental, with dramatic guitar driven post-rock riffs and cinematic crescendos.
The band have made quite an impression on Henry Foster and have recently been signed to his record label. An immense set from these guys, layers of outstanding guitar work are backed up by a solid bass line and drums that kept the audience captivated with their every move. The band would not look out of place on a bigger stage. One to watch in the future. People Like People Like Them is their first single to be released via Hopeful Tragedy Records.
The stage was set for Foster and The Long Shadows with perhaps the most equipment I have ever seen on a single stage set up (and the Parish stage isn’t small). The band certainly justified having so much gear as the sound was phenomenal. It is not often that I am blown away by musicianship and stage presence, but these guys have it all. A personal highlight for me was the song ‘The Hunter’ with brooding intensity and chilling vocals, this song captured the pain and heartache that Alex openly discussed with the audience about the loss of his father.
Hunter is a true contortionist, with flamboyant, flowing movements which encompass the melodies as he swaggered his way through the epic two-hour set. The five-piece band were the perfect accompaniment and providing the soundtrack for Foster’s haunting vocals whilst showcasing their talent via varied methods such as using a violin bow on guitars, and having duel percussionists. One of Fosters biggest draws is this rapport with the audience, at one point passing his guitar to a bewildered audience member who then suitably proceeded to play a near perfect solo whilst Foster looked on in awe.
It was clear how much the audience meant to him as during the last song (A gig first for me), Foster leapt of stage and hugged each member of the audience and thanked us individually for coming. This served as a thankful reminder that such a beautiful act can now take place and firmly cements the end of Covid and the continuous rise and resurrection of this wonderful industry.