Consisting of vocalist Chris Caines, guitarist Liam Willford, bassist James Gamage, drummer Ben Street and David Goulbourn on keys, Bristol-based Coasts formed in 2011 and have not looked back. Since coming to worldwide attention with ‘A Rush of Blood’ as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in October 2014, the indie rock quintet have built up a particularly loyal fan base and a significant social media following, continuing to sell out shows across the UK and Europe, alongside support from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Greg James. Following stellar festival performances at Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury and Coachella, Coasts will no doubt be a band to watch next year.
Ahead of the band’s self-titled debut album release in January 2016, Coasts embarked on their biggest UK tour to date, with Southampton’s Engine Rooms on 1st November their final destination. Despite it being a miserable Sunday evening and the modest venue size, Coasts delivered an energetic and intimate gig, full of emotion and feel-good, hook-heavy indie rock.
Preceding the headline act were support bands in the form of Glastonbury-based indie outfit Dive In and the heavier-sounding The Hunna, who both provided a more than adequate backdrop for the main event. Nevertheless, due to the relatively unknown nature of these bands and their songs, the crowd struggled to engage and the half-filled venue lacked atmosphere.
Once Coasts arrived on stage, however, a larger crowd gathered and the mood changed instantly, the venue now almost at full capacity with a surprisingly diverse demographic. Performing both singles and some new tracks from the upcoming album, the indie rock outfit created an uplifting atmosphere; although the sound quality was slightly below-par, frontman Chris Caines more than made up for it with solid vocals, whilst drummer Ben Street interacted with the crowd throughout. Memorable moments included the better known track ‘Modern Love’, new single ‘Stone’ and the rather repetitive but nonetheless anthemic ‘Wash Away’. Of the lesser-known, unreleased tracks that included ‘You’, ‘Let Go, and ‘As Long As I Need You’, the catchy electronic offering ‘Wolves’ stuck out for me personally and is destined to be received well by Coasts fans come the album release next year.
Ultimately, the clear highlight of the night was the set’s finale and the band’s best-known track and fan favourite ‘Oceans’. The raucous crowd sung every word and the supporting bands mobbed the band members on stage, providing a more than fitting end to their 13 date tour.