“What d’ya reckon?” asks the man in front of me of his companion. “Yeah. Like Mark Lanegan fronting the Verve.” We’re literally (use it properly, kids) in a dingy basement in Lincoln, watching Pusher, five lads from Barnsley who don’t look old enough to have seen Richard Ashcroft and his band of space rock cadets in their 90s pomp. The comparison to the Wigan band and the former Screaming Trees frontman isn’t mere hyperbole: opener ‘Unbloomed’ has requisite levels of slow-burn intensity, while future single ‘Here She Comes’ is both beautiful and menacing, with a surprise uplifting chorus that stays lodged in your head (despite not containing any words other than its title, which is sung just once). ‘On My Own’ takes things up a gear and recalls 80s rockers The Cult, albeit with a baggy-esque drumbeat. Pusher’s sound is both immesne and hypnotic, both live and on record; experience them in intimate surroundings while you can.
02 Sheffield – The Washington
03 Middleton – Carsons
10 Manchester – Night & Day Café
17 Leeds – Brudenell Social Club (with Hurricane #1)
18 Grimsby – Old Clee Club
14 Brighton – The Mesmerist (midday set)
Photo © James Barnes-Wright @silverflex