Ten Fe @ Headrow House, 18/3/17

London duo Ten Fe have graduated from the hard graft of busking in the Underground to recording their debut album ‘Hit The Light’ with producer Ewan Pearson, acclaimed for his work with newcomers such as Jagwar Ma. The result is a record that has innovative highlights but is clearly indebted to previous generations of synth-pop and soft rock. ‘Hit The Light’ is an enjoyable record – the infectious melodies are difficult to shake but its missing some substance.

Their performance, however, was a different story. The creative minds behind Ten Fe – Leo Duncan and Ben Moorhouse – shared frontman duties. Dressed identically in blue denim, they took turns to lead the performance with equally confident, crooning vocals. The selection of tracks from their debut were linked seamlessly by instrumental interludes as the members travelled casually around the stage. Slower tracks like ‘Elodie’ arguably fell flat but future anthem ‘Twist Your Arm’ brought something new and exciting to the indie-pop genre.

Their laid-back approach to their performance was at odds with the overenergetic crowd. I expected Ten Fe’s first venture north to be met by a small collection of intrigued fans but the reality was that a pack of pissed men had stumbled upon Headrow House in search of a boogie. The band weren’t deterred by the humorous reception. They encouraged the manic dancing and the crowd were soon armed with maracas to shake in accompaniment.

An interesting cover of Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ closed their set. Drastically slowed down and stripped back, the track was almost unrecognisable until the iconic chant of ‘lager lager lager lager.’ The dance classic was reimagined as an emotive rock ballad which serves as a testament to Ten Fe’s creativity and innovation.

Lucy Milburn

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