Gig review: Sunflower Bean at The Wardrobe, Leeds

Sunflower Bean at The Church, Leeds. Picture: Faith Gledhill
Sunflower Bean at The Church, Leeds. Picture: Faith Gledhill
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New York darlings Sunflower Bean brought their theatrical live show to Leeds once again last night, taking The Wardrobe by storm and launching head first into their UK tour with efficacious style.

Visibly touched by the delighted whir from the crowd below, leading lady Julia Cumming grinned from ear to ear as she exclaimed on more than one occasion that she was having ‘lots of fun,’ being back in the city.

Sunflower Bean at The Church, Leeds. Picture: Faith Gledhill

Sunflower Bean at The Church, Leeds. Picture: Faith Gledhill

That said, the evening in its’ entirety was somewhat of an eclectic celebration of women in music, with opening acts Jesse Jo Stark and Miya Folick creating an impressively prodigious buzz throughout the venue before the headline act had even set foot on the stage.

Sunflower Bean themselves are deliciously difficult to label; their set begins with the wistful ‘Burn It’, a yearnful plea for the subject not to change, and a prime example of the bands’ fine post-punk tendencies. From the poetic, euphoric heights of album title track ‘Twentytwo’, to the feisty and anthemic ‘Human For’, the trio sear through their performance with an articulated and impressive confidence. Following the irrefutable finale ‘I Was Home’, they avowedly take their leave, leaving their audience thrumming for their return; within moments, they are back for one unassailable last hurrah.

With their unified natural chemistry and effortless musical versatility, there is also something incredibly endearing about them; to see a band so at home on stage is what it’s all about. Sunflower Bean so clearly love what they do, and their fans appreciate them all the more for that congenial, authentic edge.

Sunflower Bean are a celestial musical enigma... a band with the divine ability to craft music that both examines modern society and emotions, whilst being undercut by a somewhat nostalgic twist.

Sunflower Bean at The Church, Leeds. Picture: Faith Gledhill

Sunflower Bean at The Church, Leeds. Picture: Faith Gledhill