by Bob Waters

Photo credit: Cassia

As we move deeper into October the days shorten, memories of summer fade, and you may find your mood matching the worsening weather. With winters arrival inevitable, Cassia’s upcoming gig at the Phoenix offers respite from the mid-autumn dreariness. The Cheshire town of Macclesfield may not instil visions of beaches, palm trees and cocktails, but the trio strives to subvert any preconceptions you may have for an indie band from northern England. Their upbeat, rhythmic melodies will put a spring in any step, and provide a much needed shining light amongst the seasonal blues. In their short lifetime they have quickly risen to become a British summer festival staple, playing with a tightness and proficiency well beyond their years.

Self-describing their music as Calypso Afro-rock, the bands sunny disposition permeates they’re 2018 EP Movers and Shakers. Over the fine collection of five tracks, Cassia demonstrate their close chemistry as they trade intricate guitar and bass licks alongside punchy, varied percussion. The influence of African music is prominent; Come and Talk recalls the Congolese Soukous style of guitar playing fans of early Vampire Weekend may be familiar with. Their material is as danceable as it is melodic, and their live performances are packed with more than enough energy to get an audience of any size moving.

Their latest single Loosen Up teeters on the border between bittersweet and joyous. It’s both immediate and immensely replayable, hitting that sweet spot where upon first listen you’d swear it had been a favourite of yours for years.

After a summer of festivals, the Loosen Up tour has passed its European leg, and Cassia are selling out venues across the UK. The Exeter show on the 30th may be an unorthodox way to prepare for Halloween but no doubt will prove a night to remember. It will feel as if summer had never ended.