2015 has been a massive year for Southampton four-piece The Costellos. Not only have they played their first ever batch of festivals, which include Common People, Isle Of Wight, Wickham, and Victorious, they have also been announced as support for The Spitfires’ UK headline tour. So when they were announced as headliners for the Teenage Kicks Festival at Lennons Nightclub in Southampton, I didn’t hesitate to go on behalf of The Edge to go check them out and see what all the fuss was about.
The rock ‘n’ rollers are certainly unique, in both sound and appearance. Their style is clearly inspired by the mod culture that used to surround the likes of Oasis and The Jam, but has brought forward to 2015 with a freshness that doesn’t make them look outdated at all. Frontman George Dummett shows a confidence and possesses a presence that are well beyond his years, whilst Declan Byrne (lead guitar), Harry Stevenson (bass) and Tomi Lewis (drums) don’t let Dummett steal all the limelight by showing off their own individual brilliance with their respective instruments.
The Costellos opened their headlining set with a right banger in the form of ‘Thinking About’. The track was made for live performances and I am sure it went down a treat at the various festivals they have played at over the summer. The baseline and riff were something special, whilst Dummett’s vocals definitely draw comparisons to mod titan Liam Gallagher. Even all the lights going out in the venue didn’t phase the quartet who continued professionally despite not being able to see a thing. The band definitely started as they meant to go on and didn’t take their foot off the pedal for the remainder of their 45 minute set.
‘Down Or The Weekend’, ‘All In Time’ and ‘Don’t You Know’ followed before the group performed their debut single ‘Bring Your Love Down’, which is available to download for free via their SoundCloud account. The single opens up with a great riff that continues throughout and which really makes the track what it is.
Throughout the performance there were numerous times when each musician was able to show just how good they are. Tomi was able to shows off his crazy skills on the drums on more than one occasion with various solos that really got the crowd into it and clapping along. I overheard one attendee say that when that happened it was as if the band had switched on ‘Star Power’ from the Guitar Hero video game series. Harry didn’t have an out-and-out solo on the bass but during some of the intros and breakdowns you could really hear just how inventive he is. It would be very easy for a young bassist to just play a standard, simple baseline, but Stevenson uses his imagination and really makes the role his own. Unfortunately for Declan on lead guitar, the sound desk got the volume levels wrong all night which meant that you couldn’t hear his solos properly. But from what you could hear, you could tell just how silky smooth he is and just how much talent he possesses.
The Costellos closed with ‘Keep On Lying’ which was definitely the best track of the night. Some tracks played on the night sounded quite similar to each other, whereas their final number was completely different and showed just how much potential the group possesses going forward.
Overall it was a very sound and very good performance from a band that have only been together for just over a year. Considering how little time they have been around, they would have you believe that they have actually been around for a lot longer judging by their abilities and their presence on stage. It is easy to see why some of the biggest festivals in the country are sitting up and taking note of these four guys and ensuring that they get them on their lineups. There is no doubt that their star will continue to shine throughout the remainder of the year and will go even brighter in 2016. Watch this space.