The Victoria – April 8th

It’s unfair to consider Fear of Men as a dream pop band at this stage. Sure, their songs usually sport all of the tendencies of the genre, from the lush, shimmering guitar lines to the heart-melting vocals of frontwoman Jessica Weiss. Under the dim lights of the Victoria though, Fear of Men are shining a spotlight on the audience that is entirely their own, flipping over the table of expectation with a set that’s as compellingly engaging as it is endearingly dreamy.

Opening with ‘Island’ – one of the many stand out tracks on their gorgeous new record Fall Forever – it’s immediately obvious just how far the Brighton band have come since their early days. Weiss isn’t commanding as such, but she has an aura of confidence about her as she sways and elegantly swan dives with each mesmerising hook. It doesn’t just stop with her either: there’s a captivating rhythm in play here tonight, with new songs ‘Until You’ and ‘A Memory’ eclipsing even the fan favourite one-two of ‘Alta / Waterfall’ in sheer sublimity.

It might be a dark and cosy affair being in the crowd, and Weiss’ abstract lyrical paintings of heartbreak can be heavy-hitting at times, but on stage Fear of Men have managed to carve a corner all of their own. Theirs is a musical formula that’s been tried and tested over the years – some may even say it’s been worn thin – but as long as they continue to perform with their beautifully subtle urgency, they’re sure to win fans for years to come.

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