Date: Monday 25th November 2019
Supports: Fresh, Sløtface
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With just shy of a couple of hundred gigs over the last few years it very rare that I come across a tour that is made up entirely of bands that I haven’t seen before so when PUP announced Fresh and Sløtface as supports I just had to pick up tickets. With a great reputation for their live performance, PUP were already high up on my wish list to see but the opportunity to catch three new bands in one night was definitely the icing on the cake tonight.
The first band up tonight young scrappy London punks Fresh whose music got the crowd dancing from the very start. With the energy exuding from the crowd the band were clearly having fun up on stage. ‘Get Bent’ was great to hear in the early part of the set and really kept the energy flowing. As a young band it was very much an understood comment when Kathryn mentioned that she was playing in a university despite touring to avoid studying for her own degree. Keeping things at 100%, ‘Going to Brighton’ went down well with a few people scattered amongst the crowd singing along. Following this and the guitarist taking leave from the stage, Vocalist Kathryn had the opportunity to take centre stage with acoustic track ‘Nothing’. I’m not sure if this was planned into the set or not but it really worked to show off her absolutely captivating vocals with the crowd falling silent. Building to a great finale with ‘Fuck my Life’ which brought the previous energy back to end the set in an impressive way and ended with pretty much the entire band laid on the floor of the stage giving it their all. As the band were leaving the stage they mentioned that alongside their merch for sale they were also collecting donations for a charity to help with those suffering from Eating Disorders. It was great to see from a young band that Fresh definitely care about making an impact on other people where they can and that they’re using their platform for all the right reasons.
The main support tonight came in the form of Norwegian punks Sløtface. While they may not have carried as much energy initially as Fresh it was clear that this was a much more refined set and that the band were building things up slowly. Opening track ‘S.U.C.C.E.S.S.’ made for a good start to their set and got the crowd moving along with the track. Despite the fact it may have been a Monday evening, only took a couple of attempts to get the crowd to open up the pit. Once it was open there was no stopping tonight’s crowd as even during the slower parts there were a couple of hardcore dancers that kept up the crowd energy and from the look on the bands face it was clear that they were enjoying the show. Other standout moments in their set came from the ecologically conscious ‘Sink or Swim’ which sounded great live and will definitely be one added to the playlist. Taking a slight slower turn for an unreleased track ‘Luminous’. This slower turn really showed a different side to the band and I’m excited to hear the recorded version when it’s released as part of the new album next year. Finishing off with a one two of probably their most known tracks in ‘Telepathetic’ and ‘Nancy Drew’ created carnage in the already pretty rowdy crowd. Halfway through things were paused for Leeds to be given the “most improved crowd of the tour” award but after a short respite the set finished with a bang with vocalist Haley and bassist Lasse taking to the crowd to surf across it amongst the madness. A great end to a very solid set and from the reaction of the crowd as Sløtface left the stage it was clear that they had definitely made some new fans this evening including myself.
If there was any doubt that the crowd were warmed up for tonight’s headliners PUP theses quashed in a matter of seconds as with the opening chords of ‘Morbid Stuff’ hitting, the crowd surged to the front and a huge pit had opened up in the centre of the floor. As the band played through their opening few tracks, crowd surfers flew over the barrier and everyone that wasn’t jumping was shouting the words along with the band. A slight pause between tracks to introduce themselves led to and early thanks being given to the security who were doing a great job in keeping everyone safe as they came over the barrier. A special mention needs to be given to the security guy who thought vocalist Stefan was a member of the crowd and when he returned from crowd surfing was nearly chased back off the stage. As the set continued the crowd kept up with the bands energy and shouted along to big hitters like newer track ‘See You at Your Funeral’ as the band worked through their set there was a brief pause when after a “Yorkshire” chant Stefan pointed out the weirdness of a crowd chanting its own area out of pride while the band sing songs of how they hate their hometown. Even still the band went along with it and launched into the classic ‘Dark Days’ mentioning it was written about grey skies and miserable weather just like Leeds was showing tonight. The crowd energy soared throughout and the amount of people going over the barrier was incredible. As the band wound down their set there was a quick but direct message to the crowd to make sure that they were registered to vote as the youth can make all the difference in an election. After the chants of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” had died down the band then moved onto talking about the concept of encores and how much they were unnecessary. After yet more chants of “No More Encores” the band finished strong with their two biggest hitters ‘If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will’ and ‘DVP’ which caused endless carnage in the crowd. It reall was incredible to see such energy from PUP. The set may have been scrappy but thats the strike they’re going for and they work it to perfection. A fantastic set and an even better night in general. Three great bands this evening and the joy of listening to new bands really made it a great evening and if any of tonight’s bands are back in Leeds then I’ll certainly be booking to catch them