Words by Keira Trethowan
Photography by Craig Taylor-Broad
Plymouth: not the most charismatic city, nor the most aesthetically pleasing, but it does play home to a band who harbour the very antithesis of the drab concrete jungle. Patrons are the alt-rock group that you’ve been scouring the four corners of the world for. They’re emotionally substantial, nauseatingly talented, and above all else, genuinely approachable individuals. The proof: their Album Release Show last week.
Upon entering the murky venue of The Junction, it became apparent very quickly that the night was going to be a success. The crowd swelled in size, leaving no room for false well-wishers or general locals, and the energy was pulsating throughout, like a rhythmically unstable heartbeat.
The night’s first support came from Tripper, an alternative Plymouth band who packed a weighty punch to the audience. Influences of punk were in veiled supply, alongside a dynamism that held potential. To be critical, their general stage presence took a while to transform to a level of animation, but the group still ardently heated up the venue.
Next up, and developing on the quality levels, were Caracals. Performing like a smooth-running machine, the group launched into a set that was meaty and moreish, whilst still maintaining an intimate aura to their sound. It would be difficult to label Caracals with a genre – considering that they evidently pull their influences from a variety of avenues – but if you like garage rock, brusque vocals, and invisible boundaries, then you’ll probably be a fan.
After the two aptly chosen support groups, it didn’t take long for Patrons to launch upon the stage, and almost instantly, the tone of the night was set.
Head-banging was prominent within the audience, as the group radiated their souls and talent throughout the venue. Dynamically, crescendos were in high supply, linked together with intricate counterparts that made their resonance an intelligent creation of beauty and wit; their sound, resembling an earlier version of Biffy Clyro, before they lost their way and starting creating pirate ballads.
Patrons were a demonstration of how an energetic band can transfer their energy to an audience, and there wasn’t a single crowd member unenriched by the performance. Their stage-presence, similarly, was draining to observe in a look-or-you’ll-miss-something manner, and this is a convention that was clearly inborn for the four-piece.
The group create music for the right reason: they have something so burning within that they need to articulate it. There is no falsity to their music, and likewise, this poignant show was a genuine display of a thousand emotions; a slap in the face to all of the generic, unemotional, try-hard rock that pollutes the industry. Their performance of Everything Matters, a track from their debut album As Above, So Below, was the perfect demonstration of this.
Watching Patrons perform live was like walking in on a stranger bawling their eyes out in a public bathroom. It was raw, intimate, powerful, awkward, and you felt some level of guilt for having witnessed such levels of intimate emotion. Being able to create such an atmosphere at a jam-packed event is a clear demonstration of a rare and powerful talent. Patrons are going to go far!