Date: Sunday 22nd August 2021
Venue: The Key Club, Leeds
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As the rain was pouring down in the usual British summertime fashion, people all across Leeds were hiding in doorways and shopping centres. That is except for a small hardcore group of 300 Creeper fans who are already queuing up outside The Key Club despite it being at least half an hour before doors were due to open. The excitement and dedication from those in attendance was well warranted though as seeing a band the size of Creeper in such a small venue as part of the two ‘Sex, Death, and The Infinite Void’ Album Release shows through Crash Records was a real treat. For a little context, the last time I caught them before the pandemic they were supporting Babymetal in the O2 Apollo – a venue with over ten times the capacity of Key Club. After the talk in the queue about how incredible their previous week of shows down at The Joiners in Southampton were (Yes there were people that made journey up north), tonight’s wet start would be sure to be an afterthought following the show.
After a short wait for everyone to make it into the venue, it was finally time for the first of tonight’s two shows. Exploding onto the stage, Creeper went with full energy right from the offset as ‘Hiding from The Boys’ rang out around Key Club. As expected by pretty much everyone in attendance, things were wild from the start with the crowd immediately bouncing around and screaming along to the lyrics. As first tracks go, it certainly served well to set the tone for the next 45 minutes of music. Tonight was going to be rowdy! By the time ‘Born Cold’ and ‘Cyanide’ had rolled around three songs in there were circle pits galore and chants of “Yorkshire” filled the room. Mixing the new with the old, there really was a bit of something for everyone on the setlist tonight. Spanning from older tracks like ‘VCR’ and ‘Misery’ all the way through to the latest in ‘Ghosts of Calvary’ from the recently dropped ‘American Noir’ EP. The latter of which created a huge cheer as Hannah took centre stage to lead on the track. Despite Will and Hannah both having to apologies that they weren’t playing fan favourite ‘Crickets’, these thoughts were soon forgotten as by the time the chorus rang out the whole crowd were screaming the words back towards the stage. ‘Napalm Girls’ provided a great dance along proving that it had already become a classic Creeper track and ‘Down Below’ had the first crowdsurfers of the evening with bodies flying over the top of the crowd only to be caught by Will as they reached the stage! After a little hurry along from bassist Sean to make sure they managed to fit the entire setlist in, they then finished with the huge one two of the aforementioned ‘VCR’ and an extended version – thanks to multiple Yorkshire chants during the bridge – of ‘Misery’. The band tonight were all on top form and the excitement from everyone on the stage matched the crowd excitement perfectly. For what was only a short 45 minute set, it really felt like catching up with old friends and a special note has to go to the crowd control demonstrated by Will which was nothing short of phenomenal. As everyone made their way out of the venue, most seemed to join back into the queue for the late show full of even more buzz than before. This was the going to be the rest before the carnage resumed for show number two very shortly.
Twenty minutes of queuing later with a real sense of déjà vu, we were back into Key Club for the second of tonight’s Creeper sets. This one however was going to be special with a fan-voted set that was sure to focus on the deeper cuts from the band as well as all the big hits from across the years. The anticipation was even higher than predicted after seeing how great they were during their first performance tonight and starting things off as per the last show, ‘Hiding with The Boys’ got even more of a raucous response with pits opening and crowdsurfers from the very beginning. After a brief check of the crowd to see how many people had also seen the first show, the band then launched into the first song that didn’t feature in the first show – ‘Black Mass’. A personal favourite of mine and clearly from the reaction, just about everyone else’s in the room. After the first show with tons of stories and interludes from the crowd, Will made sure to tell the crowd that this second set would be much less stories about fights in the McDonalds across the road and much more playing hit after hit. With huge tracks like ‘Winona Forever’ and ‘Be My End’ coming in the second set there was no let-up in the carnage with everyone shouting along to every word. Tonight’s special Yorkshire twist came halfway through the set as a quiet period led into the crowd requesting the band play older track ‘Gloom’ from their self-titled EP. After a brief discussion onstage as to whether or not they could play it despite not being on the setlist, the band gleefully declared that this was a fan’s choice so ‘Gloom’ was next up. Unsurprisingly given how wild the Leeds crowd usually are, this then continued until the end of the set with the real surprise coming when the band actually managed to get back on to the setlist very briefly for Hannah to take centre stage for ‘Ghosts of Calvary’ and show off her incredible vocals to the late night crowd. Around this there were deep dives into Creeper’s back catalogue with hits like ‘Allergies’, ‘Novena’, and ‘Valentine’ all being requested on mass. The set may have gone off the planned setlist but the band pulled out all the stops to play the chosen tracks and the crowd made sure to show how much they supported the band by bouncing along to each and every one. As the set drew to a close for the second time that night there was just time for one final track and through the shouts of the crowd ‘Astral Projection’ was chosen. As the track that I first heard played by the band back at Leeds Festival in 2016, this was the perfect way to end of the night and complete the double header for the night. Mosh pits, crowdsurfers, and a hell of a lot of angry finger pointing ensured and closed the night out in style and just like that 45 minutes had flown by.
With the band leaving the stage, all that was left now was for everyone to file out and reminisce about just how good tonight’s two shows were. Made possible by the incredible team over at Crash Records, it’s almost been too long to remember that these shows started out as album release shows for ‘Sex, Death, and The Infinite Void’ back in July 2020. But over a year later down the line, thanks to their hard work and diligence, they finally managed to go ahead and served nicely as a welcome back to huge bands playing intimate gigs that really rewarded the fans for supporting both the band and the store. I know I say this every time but big love to Crash Records for arranging this and big love to Creeper for putting on not one, but TWO incredible shows back to back… now roll on December to see them yet again in Leeds playing Stylus on their headline tour.