After a 21-year gap between albums and a full 19-year break as a band, Sleeper seem at last to be back in earnest. With the imminent release of their latest full-length album 'The Modern Age' and a string of successful live dates behind them over the last couple of years, Sleeper are once again making an impact.
The band's first live gig of the year brought them to the intimate surroundings of The Forum in Royal Tunbridge Wells. As part of Independent Venue Week, it was an absolute privilege and pleasure to be able to see the much revered and fondly loved band Sleeper play a venue whose capacity is ten times smaller than that of other venues on their new tour. For a band who've had three top 10 albums and eight top 40 singles, The Forum must have brought back memories of playing in the earlier groups some of the members formed in Manchester before Sleeper became Sleeper.
Ahead of the main event we were treated to a varied and adroit set from self-confessed Sleeper fan She Makes War, "or Laura if you prefer". The solo set started with 'Undone' from her 2018 album 'Brace For Impact', continued on with a tales of an old flame and wannabe cheating husband (not hers) on 'Hold On', and changed tack with Kidd swapping out her guitar for a ukulele on 'Paper Thin'. Through loops and effects Laura kept her set alive and engaging, even joking that she'd played here before, "but you didn't recognise me thankfully; I was in a s**t band". Somewhat contradictory to her stage name, She Makes War seemed to make a few friends along the way, even offering them five free songs for joining her mailing list before closing out her performance with the first track from the last album, 'Devastate Me'.
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