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A Magazine for Sheffield
Live / stage review

Yorkshire rose: English Teacher at the Foundry

Currently on tour, the Leeds-based quartet take their excellent debut album to a sold-out Foundry.

15 May 2024 at
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Daniel Atherton.

Since releasing their debut album last month, English Teacher have gathered momentum as one of the most talked-about British bands of 2024. Given their deserved exposure on 6 Music and recent Glastonbury announcement, it’s not surprising to hear they sold out Sheffield’s Foundry. This Could Be Texas has already been billed as one of the albums of the year, and having built off the success of 2022 EP Polyawkward, the 500-strong crowd inside were brimming with anticipation.

Warming up this expectant crowd were Pleasure Centre, described by BBC Introducing as a “stunning example of shoegaze”. The group were raw yet brilliantly atmospheric, with a sound ranging from dreamy synths to incessant drums.

English Teacher open with arguably their biggest song ‘The World’s Biggest Paving Slab’, a washy dream-pop anthem that sounds simply gorgeous. The lyric “No-one can walk over me” encapsulates the set’s defiant attitude, along with soothing instrumentals.

Front-person Lily Fontaine’s sharp wit and intellectual observations, alongside dazzling vocals, make her a natural star. Commenting that the album was “inspired by the Yorkshire rose”, the sell-out crowd needs little encouragement to chant “Yorkshire!” in response.

This was a performance that captured the band’s wide-ranging versatility. From the sparkling guitars on the Bowie-esque ‘Albatross’ to the art-rock riffs of ‘Not Everybody Gets to Go to Space’, there is a consistent originality to the band that compliments their satirical lyrics. Accompanied onstage by the flowers referenced in the title, ‘Nearly Daffodils’ is a killer track that sounds fantastic – its frantic pace and edgy drums is a gig peak.

The encore consisted of a tour debut for ‘Yorkshire Tapas’, along with a cover of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down’. Despite the wonderfully experimental record, you get the feeling this a band very much flexing their muscles. They ooze talent and natural chemistry with one another, and are certain to go from strength to strength.

Accessibility info

Throughout Foundry there is level access, with a ramp up to a raised area and up to the disabled viewing platform in the Foundry main room which is available during live gigs (but not during club nights). Foundry have extensive information about accessibility at the venue on their website.

by Daniel Atherton (he/him)

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