The Barnsley Chronicle arranged for the Bolton-upon-Dearne band to perform an uplifting set of acoustic reworkings of songs from second album ‘Under Your Sky’ alongside their most recognisable hits.
One youngster remarked, ‘it’s like Wembley in here’ as he entered the 144-seat Electric Theatre, a Barnsley College venue off Eastgate near its flagship Old Mill Lane site.
And the seven-song set from the local lads - who have recently returned from a festival appearance in South Korea - made the venue feel almost as mammoth as the London stadium, the gathered students clearly impressed by seeing the world-conquering musicians in such an intimate venue which was almost full to the rafters.
The band opened with ‘Dreams’, the fifth track on the new album released last Friday - frontman Kiaran Crook hopefully singing ‘we’re all dreamers by design’ and likely inspiring those in the audience with musical aspirations.
Drummer Brandon Crook, 26, told the Chronicle the gig was a welcome change from touring the world and huge festival crowds.
“It’s nice to play in Barnsley and see that people here still care,” said Brandon, who kept the pace with a shaker in one hand and a tambourine in the other.
“If us four can do it, literally anyone who’s playing music can do it.
“We were only messing about in a garage playing songs a few years ago. Anybody can do it.”
By the time of penultimate song ‘NYC (Sing It Loud)’, Kiaran and the band had fully enraptured the young crowd, the sweetness of his voice playing off his bandmates’ backing vocals and delicately strummed acoustic guitars.
He said before the band’s last song, their breakout hit ‘Chasing Shadows’, that the four rarely got the chance to play in Barnsley any more but it had ‘been a joy’ - before pausing to tell the gathered students to ‘study hard’.
Immediately after the performance the four were seated at a nearby table, in high spirits as they joked with fans, took photographs and signed CDs, records, posters and the occasional coaster.
The performance also gave opportunities for second year student technicians at the college, who were responsible for the sound.
Ross Hooley, programme manager, said: “It’s really exciting for the students who have got a chance to help out.
“We’ve said we’ll look at getting more stuff like this, real-life acts coming in.
“It’s great we can get that calibre of artists to come to the college.”