By Ellie Gaudiosi

Being a support act is no easy job. Attempting to win over a crowd who have not paid to see you and have probably never even heard of you is a challenge, but Chickenhawk proved it can be done during their support slot on the Leeds date of Alexisonfire’s recent UK tour. Not only did they prove it can be done, but they went one step further and gave a fantastic performance that was impossible not to enjoy.

A while before the band were due to perform, they had already sparked a reaction from the crowd with their quirky merchandise, in particular a t-shirt featuring Colonel Sanders, the face of KFC. Many people were intrigued as to whom this band were and if they were any good, to decide whether or not the t-shirt would be a good investment.

Only a few songs into Chickenhawk’s set and it is safe to say that the t-shirt would in fact be an extremely good buy. At first, it is evident barely anyone in the room has heard of them before and when vocalist and guitarist Paul Astick asks who has seen them before, he begins a conversation with the small group of people in the room who saw them perform at this year’s Leeds Festival. However, their loud, heavy brand of rock instantly awakens anyone in the crowd who had their doubts and the bold edginess to their songs hits you in the face and forces to take note of the band.

The energy the whole band put into their performance keeps the crowd entertained, but it is Astick who proves himself as having immense stage presence and as an incredible front man. During the set, he takes his mic stand and guitar right down into the crowd and performs from the centre of the room, surrounded by audience members. As a support act, this move could fail terribly and the crowd could take no notice, but they flock around Astick and begin moving and cheering along. By this point, Chickenhawk have the crowd’s full attention and it just goes to show that using a little audience participation goes a long way in getting them to take an interest.

As the band close their set and depart the stage, it is obvious that they have not only managed to successfully warm up the crowd for Alexisonfire, but have managed to convert a room of people into new fans, as they give impressed cheers and applause. It looks like they are only set to grow bigger and Chickenhawk are definitely a band to watch out for in the near future.

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