Popular indie rock band Cohesion returned to their old college to give current music students a sneak preview of their new tracks.
Lewis Cooke, Matthew Watchman and Alex Baker from the five-piece group performed an acoustic set at Sunderland College on Wednesday ahead of the release of their new EP, Pleasures of the Earth.
Cohesion formed in 2010 when the band members were studying at the college and they have been keen to return to the place that helped bring them together.
The band performed their new single Eagle, This is Columbia from their four track EP which was officially released last Thursday and also answered questions from students who want to break into the music industry.
Lewis, guitarist, said: “If it wasn’t for the college we wouldn’t be a band, so it was a lovely gesture to be invited back by the music department to perform.
“It is really nice to be back here among talented students and to meet up with the lecturers who helped us evolve as a band. We remember it as a creative place where we all used to gig together and it had a great community feel.”
Lewis studied BTEC music and A Level music at the college and went on to complete a foundation degree in music.
The exclusive preview gig was performed in the college’s multi-million pound Arts Academy at Bede Campus which opened in 2014.
Tony Wilson, music lecturer, said: “It was fantastic to welcome the band back to the college, where it all started for them. The set they performed was incredible and inspirational for our current music students.
“When they first formed, we gave them lots of support and encouragement and the music department is so proud of how far they’ve come. We keep in touch with the band and attend as many of their gigs as we can. The advice they have given to our students is priceless and I’m sure they’ll take their comments on board as they look forward to launching their own careers in the industry.”
The band is made up of Lewis, who joined the band in 2012, Matthew on vocals, David on bass, Jonny Hall on guitar and Alex Baker on drums.
The release of the band’s new EP coincided with the launch of a six-date tour which kicked off on Thursday at Independent, where they were supported by Picnic, made up of Sunderland College and University of Sunderland students.
They will play at venues in Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds before ending their tour at Jumpin Jacks in Newcastle on 15 April.
Cohesion have kept a low profile since the release of their first EP, Serene, in 2013 as they worked on new material.
Lewis said: “We have been doing a few gigs and released a couple of singles but we’ve mostly been concentrating on writing. We’ve written countless songs in the last few years and we seemed to whittle them down naturally until we decided on the four tracks for Pleasures of the Earth. We wanted to get it right and make sure it sounded good.
“Going on tour again is exciting but there’s a part that’s scary as we’re almost starting again. We love doing gigs and we’re looking forward to getting our music out there and building up our fan base. We’ve worked hard on this EP and we’ve had amazing feedback since we released Eagle, This is Columbia a few weeks ago.”
The band are planning more gigs in the next year and will be playing at Leicester’s Simon Says festival in the summer for the third year running.
Pleasures of the Earth is available to buy online from www.cohesionmusic.bandcamp.com and iTunes, and is on music streaming websites, including Spotify.
Photo credit: Yasmine Tasker