On the 19th of October, our online editor Andrea Loftus hopped on the 56 and made her way to Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen to catch the American foursome Frankie Cosmos enchant the Leeds locals.
With a myriad of folk scattered about the busy room, the mindless chit chat was not welcomed by New York indie folk pop singer Lina Tullgren (they/them). As the smoke cascaded down through the green and blue spotlights, they beckoned everyone in a bit closer and pointed out the lovely comfy chairs at the back – their cushions a perfect match for the behinds of those who weren’t ready to give Lina some quiet and some respect.
The attitude to support acts can always be a bit hit and miss, but as they stood all in white, the ethereal get up was matched by the translucent lullabies that drifted throughout the room. The set list bled nostalgia, the lyrics laced with a romanticised melancholy only displaced by comedic interjections like begging the crowd to nab some merch so they don’t screw the suitcase allowance. The crooning clarinettist to the right was really the cherry on top, making me wish my woodwind career hadn’t met it’s premature end in year 8.
With a spattering of symmetrical hair clips edging closer to the stage, the lads and ladies were eagerly waiting for the emergence of Frankie Cosmos, led by front woman Greta Kline. Opening with ‘Moonsea’, the delightfully buoyant melody was paralleled by the joyous yellow guitar and back beams. Frankie Cosmos’ songs epitomise ‘short and sweet’, their finite ends teasing the crowd of bodies ramped together in this mellow melting pot, swaying together as one.
Smoothly sliding into ‘Windows’, they followed up with the crowd pleaser ‘Cosmic Shop’, offering up some more opportunity for a bit of a boogie as the sea of red and white wristbands and pints painted a candy cane blur on Belgrave’s boozy blank canvas. Greta repeatedly commented about zoning out during the songs, calling her trance a bit of “a fleabag moment” (god bless PWB, our ever-relatable queen).
The hour long set list didn’t feel underdone, the compact nature of their tracks and the simplistic synchronicity of their albums together meant the crowd got old favourites like ‘Sad 2’ and ‘Ballad of R&J’, as well as tracks from their latest release Close It Quietly like ‘A Joke’ and ‘Rings (On A Tree)’.
“The sea of red and white wristbands and pints painted a candy cane blur on Belgrave’s boozy blank canvas “
Proudly sporting their own merch, Greta highlighted the ‘special yellow medicine’ adorning hers at the pit area before handing the mic “over to the gents” because there’s “nothing like a falsetto”. Seamlessly switching out guitars and swapping vocal duties emphasises how wonderfully the band work together. Despite being fronted by Greta, each member has admirable talent and makes Frankie Cosmos the type of musical unit that draws in such a diverse crowd even on a chilly Saturday night up North.
The stand out moment of the night was when the crowd took control with the band’s most popular track ‘Fool’, the excitement and glee reverberating around the room as the voices rang out together was contagious – the night itself setting everyone up for a bloody good weekend indeed.