Gig Review | High Fade w/ Cathal Murphy @ Sneaky Pete’s

A soon to be iconic band playing in an already iconic venue.

Irish born but Edinburgh based singer Cathal Murphy began the evening with an interactive performance. Murphy began his second song by telling the audience to crouch down until the chorus. When the chorus began, everyone jumped up and danced. It’s always nice to see everyone at a gig joining in, even if they don’t know the artist.

This wasn’t the only interactive part of his performance. For his song ‘Ever Since We Were Young’, Murphy did a live loop of the audience harmonising. He used this as the backing track. I personally have never seen this done before. It was intriguing to see and by the sight of people swaying along with the track, it was clear that this part was a success.

Murphy ended his set with ‘Overworked, Underpaid’. He taught the crowd the chorus and they didn’t disappoint when it was time to sing it. Below is a video from his Instagram of the amazing audience participation. High Fade couldn’t have chosen a more unique yet complimentary support act for this sold out launch show. Cathal Murphy is an artist to watch out for, his live sets are beautiful to listen to but he also involves the whole venue. This can’t be easy to do and proves why he was a perfect choice for High Fade’s support slot.

When High Fade took to the stage, they were met with cheers from around the venue. Their set included all original material, most of it currently unreleased. From start to finish, the Edinburgh based group had everyone dancing. All members worked so cohesively with each other. They all made performing look effortless, we all know it isn’t. This was why the audience interaction was so impressive. High Fade’s frontman and guitarist, Harry Valentino, has an incredible ability to interact with the crowd. Even in a small venue like Sneaky Pete’s, he managed to encourage a great amount of noise.

At one point, their drummer, Calvin Davidson, began a drum solo. It wasn’t a short solo either. Paying homage to rock band Dead Daisies, Davidson showed off his extraordinary drumming skills. This wasn’t the first time he would become centre of attention. During one of their currently unreleased tracks, Valentino stepped away from the microphone to give Davidson centre stage yet again. This time, he stunned everyone by singing the entire song while drumming. A common theme with each member is their immense talent and ability to multitask seamlessly.

High Fade incorporated an eclectic mix into their show. This meant there was something for everyone. They played songs of theirs that are similar to their most recent single, “Sharpen Up”, the subject of the performance. There were also tracks that had more of a rock element to them, showing their various musical influences. As someone who is always listening to different genres of music, this was very enjoyable because nobody knew what they’d play next. Despite the variety in sounds, High Fade still managed to organise them into a setlist that wasn’t jumpy.

This launch show is one of the only times I have seen every member of a band smile continuously. As mentioned earlier, they repeatedly made performing look effortless. They looked like they were thoroughly enjoying the moment, a concept sometimes lost in gigs. Even though they played a setlist consisting of mainly unreleased songs, their talent both with the crowd and musically make up for it. The audience generally don’t mind if someone misses a note or plays the wrong chord, they’re there for a great night. That is exactly what High Fade delivered and I can’t wait to see what they do next!