The Rills – Fulford Arms, York – Friday 3 February 2023

It’s been a slow year for me so far, this is my first show for 2023. It’s a great little show promoted by Simon P of Radar North. I’ve lost count of the number of Northern Radar shows I’ve attended, but one theme runs through all of them, Simon has never disappointed me with his choice of bands and artists. At least not yet. Is tonight the first time I’ve seen a bad show from Northern Radar? Read on to find out! The first at the amazing Fulford Arms was Everything After Midnight, I first saw them almost exactly a year ago at York Vaults supporting Where’s Slater. What do they like? Well, there’s prog, electric folk, metal, a dash of Wolf Alice, and many other facets to their sound. Steph’s voice gets stronger every time I see them (this is the third time) and tonight I detected elements of Sandy Denny, Kiki Dee and Ellie Rowsell. In a previous review of Everything After Midnight I said “Imagine Tori Amos if she took a much heavier direction with a few extra prog notes, that’s how Everything After Midnight sounds to me“, I stand by that comment!

Next up was Sun King, a band I’d seen before, back in June last year when they supported Sweet May at this venue and it was their first show. I can hear all kinds of influences in his amazing voice; Small Faces, Paul Rodgers, Steve Marriot, Led Zeppelin, Paul Weller, maybe Prince on the falsetto lines, and the occasional little old Noddy Holder on vocals. This band is tight and has a perfect grasp of the best of classic rock vibes. But they go beyond rock as they throw in some great jazz and funk for good measure. Seb, former lead vocalist with Naked Six and associated with British metal royalty, is the son of Saxon frontman Biff Byford. Biff came up with humping gear for the band and then during a chat with Chris T of Fulford Arms we thought, wouldn’t it be great for Biff to play a set at Fully, maybe acoustic with Saxons, solo, or even a full band, maybe even a live! Biff if you are up for that then get in touch, maybe we can order Sun King as a support!

The first time I saw Lincoln’s finest band to date, the Rills was when they played the BBC Introducing Stage at the Leeds Festival in 2021. Their stature is growing at breakneck speed and this is an incendiary set from an amazing band. The “World Leader” is huge and very powerful. This is the fifth show on their intense mini-tour for Independent Venue Week 2023. They start in Falmouth on 30 January and continue on to York via Swansea, Bedford and Oxford. The sixth and final show of the busy schedule in Blackpool the day after York. They have immense energy and it transfers to a very enthusiastic crowd. The riffs are full and spectacular. The Rills put on a very good show. So, has Simon from Radar North failed me? Of course not!

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