LIVE: Tides of Man @ The Parish, Huddersfield

By Mark Johnson

Having released two records as a progressive post-hardcore band, Tides of Man took their first steps into instrumental post-rock in 2014 with the release of ‘Young and Courageous’. The departure of vocalist Tilian Pearson (now of Dance Gavin Dance) forced them to write music in a new way, under a new philosophy, but the experience gained from writing full-band songs certainly rubbed off, giving their brand of post-rock definable sections and hooks that separates them from their new peers.

The quality of ‘Young and Courageous’ belies the fact that it was Tides of Man’s first effort at post-rock and now with a degree of experience behind them, expectations are high for the next instalment. With a new record expected somewhere close to the end of the year, Tides of Man arrive in the UK to build anticipation for the release.

The band waste no time trialling new material, opening the set with a brand new track, which instantly puts an end to any doubt that the phenomenal standards of ‘Young and Courageous’ can’t be matched again. A slowly swelling, atmospheric introduction builds through a technical drum beat before erupting into a cacophony of ambient guitars and soaring emotions.

The track blends seamlessly into a succession of choice cuts from ‘Young and Courageous’, each sounding huge on stage, helped in no small part by the excellent sound quality of The Parish. It’s a small, exposed brick venue, making it seem like you’re witnessing a performance in someone’s garage, but Tides of Man’s majestic, dream-inducing post-rock transports you to another place, so it’s not until the set ends that you’re even aware of the snug surroundings.

The three new songs scattered throughout the set nestle comfortably against the released material, maintaining the style the band have already cultivated, but building it out by expanding their boundaries with with fresh ideas and tones. The general palette is moodier and more atmospheric, but also heavier and more technical, resulting in the same overall experience but with fresh layers and textures.

When post-rock is done well, it’s a deeply sensory experience and witnessing Tides of Man live is no exception. The band feel every note of their euphoric crescendos, providing a goose-bump inducing experience, one so powerful that it’s a shame only a handful of people are there witness it. We were on site at ArcTanGent festival a few weeks ago, where Tides of Man’s peers were impressing a few thousand people over the weekend. It’s the kind of environment where this band would absolutely thrive, their catalogue of songs more impressive than most on the bill. Tides of Man have no shortage of quality, but sadly lack the exposure they deserve. We hope the upcoming new record will correct this injustice, because music this epic and majestic needs to be heard by a much wider audience.