LIVE: Fort Hope / The Gospel Youth / Rory Indiana @ Patterns, Brighton

By Tamsyn Wilce

Until recently, things had been pretty quiet for Fort Hope since they made the huge step to a major label, but in April they delivered a three-track EP to ensure fans they were still around. Though it was a little less than what had been expected, a quick run around the UK made up for their lack of appearances. We headed to the penultimate date of the tour to see what Fort Hope had to offer.

Rory Indiana take the challenge of opening the night, with their riff-heavy anthems bouncing off the walls. Having just released their EP ‘Ruling Class Crooks’ the Brighton band have been touring and playing shows across the country to celebrate its release, however it seems that the band have taken the ‘local support’ slot a little too literally and don’t appear as energised as normal. We’ve seen them headline the very same venue, which was a riotous affair, but their set this time around is a little duller than expected.

Keeping things local, pop-rockers The Gospel Youth step up to the plate and earn their place as main support. Despite being a member down for the performance, the band work well together to make sure it still sounds as well as they hope and tracks such as ‘Stay Positive’ and recent single ‘Hurricane’ flaunt the band at their best. Frontman Sam Little is at ease when interacting with crowd members, while the others support him with uplifting melodies and fast-paced rhythms. There’s still a little room for improvement but The Gospel Youth have certainly got a whole lot more to give.

After an eery intro, Fort Hope come crashing in with ‘That’s The Way The River Flows’, a song which, at first listen left a worrying feeling that Fort Hope have lost everything that made them great. That said, upon hearing it live for the first time, those worries are buried slightly and each element of the track really fills the room – none more so than Jonathan Gaskin’s voice.

There’s no denying that Gaskin’s vocal is a huge selling point to Fort Hope, had it been average-at-best the band would struggle to make any impact at all. Yet, it’s hard not to be drawn in by the insane power it delivers, reaching notes other vocalists deem impossible, it completely soars over the throbbing bass and simple power chords.

The set offers a further insight as to what the band have been working on over the past year, with the new tracks brimming with potential and proving that all may not be lost. However it’s the previously released singles ‘Plans’ and ‘Control’ which really get things going with their performance, and the eager crowd lap up every second.

Fort Hope have the opportunity to win us back, and it worked. It’s obvious that a lot of hard work and commitment has gone into making each song sound as epic as possible in a live setting and you can see the desire for them to play in bigger and better surroundings.