The Joiners, Southampton


“My generation doesn’t mean that much to me” – a lyric from Tellison’s acclaimed new release “Hope Fading Nightly”, or a tried and tested perspective of the fickle industry that musicians suffer in nowadays? It’s no walk in the park for niche bands to breach the mainstream, but when you’re producing releases with such genuine sentiment and crafted beauty, it’s important to remember the roots of your genre and stay clear of those longing to reach the so called “big time”.

It’s a welcome return to the Joiners for Tellison tonight, as Stephen Davidson greets his audience with the hauntingly beautiful “Letter To The Team (After Another Imperfect Season)” – a melody which perfectly summarises his fluctuating states of misery and ecstasy induced by holding the responsibility for the success of his band. Davidson’s flawless vocal pitch and sensitive nature in the opener provides a subtle whisper to start the evening, before the likes of “Boy” and “Say Silence” bring forth their purposeful, pulsating anthems; fuelled by jagged riffs, buoyant rhythm and the sonic joy of both Stephen and Peter’s vocal prowess.


In a performance comprised heavily of songs from their latest release, there are some expected cries for their debut and sophomore records; however, after a lengthy hiatus between releases, it’s understandable when Tellison grasp the opportunity to exhibit fresh material. Fortunately, they do so with such tenacity and intent that you can’t help but praise their efforts. The angst driven “Tact Is Dead” and wonderfully unhurried “Wrecker” blend perfectly alongside previous material, such as fan favourites “Freud Links The Teeth To The Heart” and “Henry Went To Paris” in a set of blissfully balanced dynamics.

Tellison currently sit in a wondrous position of boasting three albums; each possessing enough insightful quality and joyous differentiation that deciding their set list must be somewhat of a headache for them nowadays. Regardless of the missing gems that could have been played tonight, they emerge triumphant through all the regret and sorrow which fuels their underdog anthems. Rookies of the year or not, as long as this band are alive, my faith in music (no matter how unpredictable and jaded it can seem at times) will always burn brightly.

Long live Tellison. Long live the team.


Words by George Fullerton.