A four-piece with the presence, talent, and volume of a twenty-four-piece band are Bridgend's Fire Fences. As they stepped on stage at The Globe - Cardiff's 350-capacity music venue - the roar from the welcoming crowd diminished any question as to whether this band would be a suitable support for American singer/songwriter, Jessarae. The four musicians took to their instruments, opening their set with the punchy intro to their brand new song ‘Again & Again’. Crowds of Jessarae fans responded to Fire Fences' opening track as if Fire Fence were the lead act they'd come to see in the first place! Between the first and second song, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Aaron Wyn Nicholas, thanked the crowd and introduced the band, alluding to their “small-town” origins. The crowd did not sway from the initial welcoming reaction they'd given the band and cheered, to which Aaron joked, "I've never heard such a good reaction for Bridgend before!"
The second song of the set began with an ear-catching solo guitar riff which breathed an air of suspense into the packed room. James Lee, the band's incredible drummer, came in with a rhythm on the rim and ‘Eastern Avenue’ was pronounced the second song of the night. We were told by Aaron that Fire Fences had the amazing experience of recording this single at 4th Street recording studio in LA. The American influence on this track was evident in the prominent lead guitar from the hands of talented Will Davies and the heaviness of Dylan Wictome's intricate bass line. When the catchy chorus kicked in, the room was bouncing.
Who doesn't love a support band that are capable of getting the crowd singing along? ‘Lot to
Learn’ was up next, and if you thought the crowd couldn't be any more lively, you'd have to think
again. As Aaron taught the repeated two-lined bridge to the crowd, the room sang back as if they
were at an international match in the Principality Stadium across the city! This song, being lighter
than ‘Eastern Avenue’, gave the set a noticeable balance and a sense of variety. When it came to
the bridge, it was over to the crowd to take the vocals and they did not disappoint. The room
thundered with the sound of "We've got a lot to learn..." This moment, in particular, was
spectacular. Fire Fences had prevented their set from being a mere performance to an audience
and instead created a scene where the song belonged to everyone. The spotlight was shared with the hundreds as they sang a capella to the beat of James' kick drum. This feeling of being brought together by music was a theme that underpinned the whole night.
The show from there on was, all-in-all, a complete success (despite a broken string and the front
row being showered in sweat). The crowd shouted for more after Fire Fences ended their set with
one of their newly recorded songs, ‘Weather’. This anthem captured the band's youthful energy
alongside their experience as mature musicians as they closed their set with scenes you might
hope to see on a Catfish and the Bottlemen stage. The band's new-found fans went wild – they
had entered as Jessarae fans and left as Fire Fences fans.