Regular readers will be aware that I have been following the Leylines closely since seeing them at last years Something-Else in the Dean festival where I thought they were one of the highlights of a fantastic weekend.
Shortly afterwards I reviewed their debut EP “Let It Go” on these pages. I was very impressed especially as the band have been together for only a little over 12 months. Whilst reviewing the EP I said “the songs are catchy and have good chorus line hooks that you can easily see festival crowds singing along too.”
Last week at Bearded Theory festival I had the opportunity to see whether my premise was correct and I am very pleased to say that I was. It is a measure of how far the Leylines have come in the six months or so since I last saw them that the woodland stage area was packed for their performance. My wife and I had rushed to the woodland stage from watching a truly amazing performance from Skinny Lister on the main stage and it is to The Leylines credit that they were not out of place in that company.
It is also to their credit that they stepped up to the mark at very short notice to do an extended set after the advertised artist who was supposed to precede them failed to show. Obviously this gave the Leylines the opportunity to showcase a few more of their tunes and they did so with aplomb.
There us no question that the Leylines have improved as a unit. When I last saw them they had some great songs but were a little raw and loose. That rawness did not lessen there attraction and to a degree it suits the kind of punk edged folk-rock music that they play. Much of the looseness has gone now, they band are tight have matured as a band. I thought that Hannah Johns fiddle is now taking a more prominent role and the rhythm section sets the pace beautifully.
The Leylines played a total of 11 songs including all four that were included on their Debut EP. As you might expect all four of these tracks were delivered in an exemplary manner but they were not the songs that really grabbed my attention. Queen and Country really grabbed my attention, probably because, as a former serviceman, the fact that our troops are so badly treated by our government makes my blood boil. The track obviously means a lot to Steve Mitchell, a former soldier.
The Leylines recently released a charity single “Sat In A Field” unsurprisingly, for a West Country based band, its focus is on drinking cider in a festival filed. The song comes over even better live than in recorded medium and I must say this one has all the hallmarks of being this summers festival tune.
The future looks very bright for the Leylines. Their growth as a band in a few months has been remarkable, they have a great set of songs and on the strength of these performances there is every reason to expect numerous further bookings for this excellent band.
I know that I and many others cannot wait for the release of their debut album.