Citrus Heights: Leeds Refectory
A male four piece fill their biggest stage (so far) at Leeds University Refectory for a Cancer Research and Yorkshire Air Ambulance event from which all proceeds go to charity. Citrus Heights boyish appearance, catchy pop tunes and front man Jamie’s dance moves could slip into the return of Boyzone but they add their twist with punchy bass lines and intriguing guitar riffs.
An angelic touch lifts the chorus of the opening track with the drummer carefully placing harmonies to back lead vocals and others throughout the varied setlist. Just three instruments (not including vocals) manage to fill the large space using dreamy effects on the electric guitar and throbbing bass. There are classic builds in the rhythm section tightly locked in with bass for a solid blanket of sound allowing Jamie’s massive vocal to dominate and he works the crowd with ease. In between tracks he cracks jokes and attempts to get the crowd on their feet and to the front of the room and refers to Citrus Heights as a ‘real band – we’re on Spotify’.
They play their recently released debut EP entitled Sweet Things, the first track being ‘Limitations’ at the beginning of which Jamie slides and spins alike to Michael Jackson, an obvious influence in his smooth moves and vocal technique. The pop sound bubbles down half way through to a simmering funk guitar solo. The lead vocal slides around calm and collected full of joy and excitement looping the lyric hook.
‘Three Days’ is introduced as their ‘mellow song’ and placed tactfully in the middle of the set. The song reminisces a Yorkshire man’s take on 90’s R’n’B. The vocals are projected with such intent in the lyrics i’m certain the whole crowd is curious as to whoever Jamie’s heart-throb must be.
The title EP track ‘Sweet Things’ lifts the energy in the room and the crowd hears the ever present 80s vibe from the solid guitar riff. Combining this with heavily reverbed vocals these four have created a unique sound in a day and age where so many bands sound identical. The anthemic track ‘Same Ride Home’ entices all the crowd to their feet, joining Jamie chanting ‘Show, show, show me everything’ concluding an impactful performance.
I spoke to lead singer Jamie before the gig and he informed me of the Green Room within the Refectory where the band were staggered to have been offered whatever they desire, although these lads only wanted a cup of tea. Citrus Heights are a well balanced cup of sweet and sour and it is clear the crowd and themselves love what they’re doing.