Review – Feeder

Date: Friday 8th November 2019

Venue: Leeds Becketts Student Union, Leeds

Supports: Novacub

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Following on from day two’s incredible intimate gig with Being as an Ocean, Day 3 of the four gigs four days brought in the big guns with a chance to catch Feeder playing to a sold out crowd in Leeds Becketts Student Union. Unfortunately due to more transport issues which seem to be becoming a regular theme these days we arrived just after tonight’s support Novacub had finished playing so only managed to catch headliners Feeder. However given the stream of people collecting stickers and meeting the band at the merch table they must have put on a decent show and I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for an opportunity to catch them again next time they are around.

With over 20 years of material available at their fingertips there was an air of anticipation around which tracks the band were going to include in the setlist alongside the cuts from their newly released album ‘Tallulah’. As the band opened with Youth it made for a fun start. Being the first track on the album it was clear that people were singing along and it was great to experience the song live. Following this up with older hits such as ‘Lost and Found’ and the iconic ‘Feeling a Moment’ made for a very strong start to the night. With huge LED screens behind the band showing fantastic visuals alongside the tracks it was clear that over the many years Feeder have developed their live performance into a very slick process. With new album just released you would expect there to be some material in the set from it but in Feeder’s case tonight, nearly half of their 22 song setlist came from the new album. With the new tracks spread throughout the set it meant that the band struggled to keep the energy from older tracks going as the slower nature of the new tracks kept slowing the show. The newer tracks aren’t all slow and steady though as the bands play through of ‘Kyoto’ seemed to pick up the crowd with its heavier stylings and similar to sounds to their earlier tracks. Other highlights of the slightly drawn out middle section included the incredible sounding ‘Insomnia’ which coupled with the huge screen flashing the words through the chorus had the crowd all dancing and singing along; and a rare play of ‘Comfort in Sound’ which was a real treat for the crowd. As with the start, the band didn’t hold anything back towards the end of their set with a huge closing one two of ‘Seven Days In The Sun’ followed by the very well known ‘Buck Rodgers’ as the perfect set closers they really woke the crowd back up from their lull during the middle section of the gig and finished off the main set in fantastic style with even a sizable pit opening amongst the jumping bodies during ‘Buck Rodgers’.

As the band left the stage for a brief pause before their encore, the crowd certainly knew what was coming as after the standard chants for one more song they burst in to singing the opening guitar of ‘Just a Day’. As the band took back to the stage they had to put a pause on the singing as they had new track ‘Blue Sky Blue’ to play through first. Whilst the track itself is anthemic and builds nicely, putting it between ‘Buck Rodgers’ and ‘Just a Day’ really took the wind out of its sails as everyone just watched along waiting for the last track to come on. When it did however ‘Just a Day’ got a fantastic response from the crowd and proved just why the track is still considered a classic after all these years. With the last track done the band thanked the crowd for attending and mentioned that tonight was all about looking forward at what the future of the band holds rather living in the past. While the sentiment is one that we should all be happy with unfortunately tonight fell slightly flat with the crowd and there was just too much newer material to balance out the classics. With the precise performance that Feeder were putting in on stage, when the crowd were fully involved the set made for a fantastic watch however struggling to keep that energy made the middle of the set drag slightly. With a little more balance between their new tracks and the older classics tonight could have been a huge triumph for the band however it felt more like a “going through the motions with their new album” kind of show. Definitely not a bad show in any way and I’d be very open to seeing the band again in the future.

Feeder

Review – Refused / Thrice

Date: Thursday 31st October 2019

Venue: Manchester Academy, Manchester

Supports: Gouge Away

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Occasionally a tour will be announced that is so good that you buy tickets despite the fact that the band you are going to see aren’t ones that are regularly played on your music list. This is one such example of a tour with two of the most influential yet somehow underrated bands in the alternative scene playing the same stage on the same night as co headliners. With both Thrice and Refused it was interesting to see the mix in the crowd as both bands have a very different sound to each other and yet somehow everything worked to perfection. Unfortunately thanks to the drive from hell across the M62, I didn’t get chance to catch tonight’s support act hardcore punks Gouge Away which was a real shame as they were a band that I was certainly looking forward to catching. If you aren’t familiar with the band then I’d definitely recommend giving them a listen, a personal favourite from them is R.O.T.

For the first of two hour long headline sets this evening were the Swedish punk pioneers Refused. Opening up with new album opener REV001 things started with a bang and by bringing the new album to front of set showed that they weren’t just living with their past success. Following up with ‘Violent Reaction’ kept the energy nicely flowing and was great to hear live after I’d put a bunch of plays into it on Spotify in preparation. Despite the new album sounding incredible, playing big hitter ‘Elektra’ early in the set really got the crowd moving and dancing along. Heading back to the newer tracks ‘I Wanna Watch The World Burn’ Which took vocalist Dennis Lyxzén Into the crowd all the way to the back which proved to be a very effective way of opening up the pit. Giving talks on serious topics such as capitalism and patrichy amongst others went out to approving crowds and it was good to see punk standing for something so strongly still. Saving the best track until last, it was no doubt that ‘New Noise’ would go down well to finish the set. As crowd in unison launched in with opening line ‘Can I Scream?’ Manchester Academy turned upside down with the sheer amount of people bouncing and shouting along the words. Pausing for extra effect before the last chorus Refused thanked the crowd as they were the reason the band could keep doing what they do. Launching back in it was clear how heavy the track hit and really ended the set on a high. It’s great to see that Refused unique sound is carried from their records and sounds just and incredible live and it just goes to show how talented of a band they really are.

Refused

Taking to the stage for the second coheadline set tonight were Thrice. Regularly described as your favourite bands favourite band, its no wonder that they deliver a fantastic show and having accidentally discovered them at Leeds festival back in 2016 so I was long overdue seeing them! Coming out to ‘Only Us’ showed the complete juxtaposition between the two headliners with Refused’s raw energy compared to the refined performance and intricate tracks of Thrice . By the second track ‘Image of Invisible’ the crowd were in full voice signing along with the chorus. It was clear that Thrice’s building tracks left the crowd in awe and new track ‘Just Breathe’ proved that booming across the Academy. Following this there was a huge crowd reaction to the opening riff of ‘Hurricane’ which got a huge tear and an even bigger singalong flying straight into  ‘Artist in the Ambulance’ after was one of the highlights of the night as the two tracks worked so well with each other. A couple of songs later the band cracked out arguably their biggest track ‘Black Honey’ which really showed just how tight the band were and how each element mixed so beautifully with the others. After a rousing performance of ‘The Earth Will Shake’ to start to wind down their set the band opted to finish with slower track ‘Beyond The Pines’ which somehow worked perfectly. It finished with somber tone but somehow worked and built on the fantastic set from tonight. As the band left the stage the crowd were left in awe at the end of Thrice’s phenomenal show. Despite having to follow a much heavier band it was clear that they could hold their own and by making the set focused on their deeper tracks they really used the earlier mentioned juxtaposition to their advantage. It would definitely be hard to find another band that refined and tight in a live setting, everything worked perfectly and really went to show just why Thrice are so many people’s favourite bands.

Thrice

Review – Black Flag

Date: Sunday 13th October 2019

Venue: Academy 2, Manchester

Supports: Total Chaos

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When the option comes up to see a band play that inspired most of the bands that you listen to currently it is a real no brainer. Especially when it’s the first time that the band have played the UK in over 35 years. And with that said the drive across to Manchester seemed like nothing for the spectacle that tonight was going to be seeing Black Flag playing live.

First up however were tonight’s only support Total Chaos. Starting out with the ringing guitar before launching into ‘War in L.A.’ really set things off to a great start, the band sounded great live and were clearly enjoying themselves with everyone jumping around and really filling the stage. The crowd may have been a little sparse at first but certainly filled up as the set went on .Total Chaos were the only support tonight so had a big job to build energy before tonight’s headliner but with a 45 min set of original hardcore punk the levels were easily met by the crowd. ‘Punk No Die’ got a great reaction to the crowd and really stuck to the title with the crowd pogoing in the pit throughout. ‘Running with the Youth’ brought riffs aplenty and definitely got some heads banging. And just when you thought you’d seen everything this band could offer they then brought out Tezz from Broken Bones/Discharge for a play through of one of his top tracks ‘Decapitated’. While playing tonight the band mentioned that tonight was part of their celebration of 30 years as a band which is amazing to hear as very few bands make it that far without a lot of effort and dedication. As the set went on it was clear to see during ‘Complete Control’ that, despite it being released over 20 years ago, there’s still the same issues around. Newer track Toxic Fallout sounded great and by the end of the set there was a sizeable pit forming. As Total Chaos finished with arguably their biggest track ‘Riot City’, it was clear that the crowd had increased massively and they had definitely build the energy up in preparation for Black Flag. Although the band may have been around for a long time but have certainly honed their performance over the years as there wasn’t a foot put wrong all while showcasing the raw energy of punk in its finest form.

Total Chaos

As I mentioned at the start, Black Flag were playing their first tour of the UK in over 35 years tonight so was a real no brainer for me to go having not even been born last time they were across. Opening their set with ‘Depression’ it was obvious that the crowd had been waiting for this moment for the entire night. As the riffs rang out on stage the crowd wasted no time in erupting into chaos. By the time the band had reached ‘Black Coffee’ it was clear that the crowd were at maximum activity. As with total chaos before it was clear that Black Flag were enjoying themselves up on stage and with the addition of Mike Vallely on vocal he really brought a ton of energy to the stage dancing around whilst Greg Ginn dazzled the crowds with his insane technical ability. ‘Gimme gimme gimme’ was notable tonight for having the first crowd surfer of the night go over the barrier and it certainly wouldn’t be this evenings last. As the band flew through the huge 22 song set list tonight it was nice to have a breat of fresh air as the band played an extended intro to ‘Six pack’. The bass and drums sounded incredible in the mix and were played to perfection, building the song up well with maximum frenzy once the track kicked in fully. 

It took until 40 minutes into the set before Black Flag gave a quick round of introductions to their current line up before launching straight back into it. Whilst usually I’m not a fan of bands that just play all their songs with very little talking tonight seemed different and with the timelessness of their tracks the link between crowd and band was already there without needing to appeal to newer fans. It was nice to hear from Mike V when he mentioned about how he’d seen Black Flag  when he was younger and that it was wild they’d asked him to step up to do vocals back in 2013. After playing through a couple of lesser known songs, it was time for the band to finish the night with the big hitters, Launching into ‘Nervous Breakdown’ the entire venue was shaking with the crowd really going for it and screaming along with the words. As if that wasn’t enough the band then went into ‘TV party’ which got exactly the same reaction from the crowd and really set things to end on a high.  

Black Flag

With no let up on their finale, the band brought Total Chaos back out to help with vocals on their penultimate track ‘Rise Above’. Being a true classic in the hardcore punk scene it was no surprise that the crowd lapped it up with the pit engulfing the entire front half of the venue. It was definitely the highlight of the set and a moment that would be hard to top for any band. After the carnage of ‘Rise Above’ there was only one track left for them to play before finishing off their UK tour and that was their well-known cover of Richard Berry track ‘Louie Louie’. Usually when listening to this track it’s a minute of pure energy and would have finished the night off perfectly however Greg had other plans this evening as it became an extended guitar solo for him to really showcase his talent. Unfortunately while his technical ability was clear the song seemed to drag on for minutes and after the high energy of ‘Rise Above’ it seemed like a very weird way to end the night. After the extended guitar solo he then passed his guitar across to Shawn from Total Chaos to finish the night’s solo before things came to a very abrupt end. With no encore to follow on and just a crowd photo with the band it seemed to draw the conversation after the show. With no one talking about how incredible the set was but just questioning why the solo ended things this evening.

If Black Flag had finished tonight at the end of ‘Rise Above’ then it would have been a 10/10 set with no doubt however this ending really shut down all the energy in the room. Whilst I am very happy I saw Black Flag this evening I can’t help but feel that no one had really thought about how to end it and it would be interesting to see if the same happened at other venues on this tour. Still regardless of this it was certainly one that I can now tick off my bucket list of bands and the added bonus of seeing Mike V who was one of my favourite skateboarders growing up was insane. This will certainly be a night for me to remember in years to come.

Black Flag

Review – Press To Meco

Date: Thursday 3rd October 2019

Venue: The Basement, York

Supports: Borderline, Chapter and Verse

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First up tonight were the local support Borderline. With a synth, a bass and a drum kit out on stage it really was interesting to try and work out what kind of sound was going to come off the stage. The best way I can think to describe it would be if you imagine Royal Blood but someone let them go wild with a synth. As they burst into first track ‘Empathy’ it came as a shock to the system but very much in a good way. The high notes of the synth were a huge contrast to the groove from the bass and drums. Shouldn’t have worked from the variety of different sounds but it actually came out very well as a mix and each instrument complimented the others for a really interesting soundscape. Older track ‘In a Vacuum’ made for a catchy number with the synth almost taking the role of a lead guitar while still mixing with the rhythm of the track. Unreleased track ‘Lara Croft’ sounded good and will be one to keep an eye on when it’s released. As the band wound down their set they mad a very poignant stand to end it with a song about some of the serious issues in the world today, only the serious issues turned out to be shark attacks. This felt very fitting as the band weren’t afraid to have fun all throughout the night. Very often an opening band will be a safe choice but Borderline were far out and it was incredible to see a band trying something complete different and doing it well so huge props to the band for stepping up and putting on a great set.

Borderline

Next up tonight were Chapter and Verse, a band that I was much more familiar with. As a little interesting fact, last time I came to a gig that was being played at The Basement, Chapter and Verse were supporting Dream State so it was quite surreal to see them again as supports in the same venue. Between the last set in York and seeing them playing the Main Stage at 2000Trees last year it was clear that the band are coming on leaps and bounds and are sure to hit their break through soon. Starting with new track Bad Blood which sounded fantastic live really hit this point home. Tonight’s mix sounded great and the band always put on a very energetic live performance. As vocalist Josh said tonight was “Like playing in a living room and watching your little brother go mad”. Keeping with the newer releases, it was great to get an exclusive play of unreleased track ‘Beauty Sleep’ which continuing the theme of ‘Bad Blood’ is a very promising sign of things to come. One of Chapter and Verse’s standout points are the incredible vocals soaring above the heavy tracks and as usual this was shown off brilliantly during ‘Ink’ with everyone stood in awe listening along. After a speech to the room about The New Breed which really built the inclusion the band finished tonight with in my opinion their best track so far – Magazines. This definitely ended the set on a high and really built the energy for Press to MECO who were up next. After another incredible set I really would love to see these guys get the recognition they deserve and play much bigger crowds and with the new tracks like Bad Blood it’s definitely a possibility.

Chapter and Verse

Keeping with the theme of bands that I saw at 2000Trees were tonight’s headliners Press to MECO. The only difference here was that the set they played there was acoustic so to hear them in full force tonight would be a completely separate experience. As with Chapter and Verse before it was quite a shock to see them playing in a 100 cap venue however with the great reaction to new track ‘Easy Life’ this will probably be the last chance to see these guys playing this level of venue before stepping up to much larger ones. As the band took to the stage, the low ceiling and layout of the venue really gave an intense intimate feeling which worked perfectly to build on the energy in the room. By the time the band reached the end of second track ‘All Your Parts Don’t Make a Whole’ the crowd were shouting the words back and dancing along. With some phenomenal harmonies between the three members of the band it made for a very unique experience as they shared the vocal duties throughout the set. New track ‘Easy Life’ got a play halfway through and sounded nothing short of incredible. Despite only being released less than two weeks ago the crowd had clearly had it on repeat as they knew every word. With the intimate setting slower tracks like ‘A Quick Fix’ and ‘Honestly’ had an amazing feel and really hit home with all the emotion you’d expect there to be. With smaller shows you tend to find the mix a little worse than other places but the opposite was true tonight and continued to impress with all three instruments balanced perfectly to really give a fantastic sound. As the band came to a close with plays of ‘White Knuckling’ and the incredible ‘Here’s to Fatigue’ it really ended things with a bang. As the band expelled all their energy from the stage it was clear that they had given it their all this evening and everyone in attendance had had a fantastic evening. Press to MECO are definitely a band to be keeping an eye on at the moment and after this tour and a new album I really hope that they get the break that they deserve.

Press To MECO

Review – Casey ‘Its Time To Bury Our Love’ Farewell Show

Date: Thursday 9th May 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: Gatherers, Acres

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First band in tonight were Gatherers. The band were playing their first tour of the UK and unfortunately their lead singer was struggling with illness throughout the set. They took a couple of songs to find their groove in the room. Unfortunately just as things were heating up nicely during new track ‘Sick, Sad Heart’ they had issues with their mic cables coming undone and cutting the vocals completely. Whilst musically it sounded incredible there was certainly something missing whilst the band tried to sort the vocals out. A long pause to sort cables led to a lot of the crowd dropping off and the band needing to play catch up for the rest of their set! Not letting this set them back too much they continued on and managed to get back into their groove. With the band playing brilliantly and the cleaner vocals sounding impressive it led to a great ending of the set with the crowd all bobbing their heads along to the tracks and starting to warm up for the night ahead. Here’s hoping next time they come back to the UK they’ll have a bit more luck.

Next up were a Acres who were down a vocalist due to illness tonight. Coming out saying ‘Alright, we’re Acres’ was a very modest start to their fantastic set. Mixing things up through their set with tracks that had vocals provided by Zac Vernon from Parting Gift and tracks that were purely instrumental worked a treat and really showed how capable the band were of captivating the audience despite their setback. The band seemed to be working in perfect sync to really hit home the crushing riffs and dream-like guitars alongside the heavy non stop drumming. In a set that passed by far too quickly, Acres easily got the audience jumping along and banging their heads throughout their performance to set the crowd up nicely for the last band of the night. Having not heard them before they played tonight they’ll certainly be one that I’ll be checking out again in the coming months and keeping an eye on!

Acres

To say I was left speechless by Casey’s performance probably isn’t the best way to start this review but it’s certainly correct! From the first piano note of ‘Making Weight’ to the last screams of ‘Little Bird’ Casey really showed just what makes them so special and just what the music world is losing! With soaring guitars, crushing breakdowns, spoken word sections and huge screams from Tom Weaver the band really give everything 100% and it certainly shows. The entire crowd were surging backwards and forwards all set and even hit the point where the crowdsurfers had to be stopped due to the size of the stage and equipment being knocked over. Needless to say that the show was in high gear throughout with hits like ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ and ‘Bruise’ both getting huge singalongs. It was clear that these shows mean a huge amount to both the band and the crowd and with everything working perfectly it really was a pleasure to see.

Having sold out the show it was no surprise that everyone was here to celebrate Casey as they played their farewell shows. It really is a shame that these guys won’t be playing live again however it just means that we’ll have to spin their albums much more often to celebrate the perfection that they have. A genuine 10/10 show to really finish this chapter of their careers on a high and definitely one that everyone in the crowd will remember for a long time to come!

Casey

Review – Live At Leeds Festival 2019

As the first bank holiday of May rolled round it could only mean one thing… The start of festival season!! And as will every year the first one up is Live At Leeds. Showcasing a nice mix of new and upcoming bands from a variety of genres it is definitely one to keep an eye on if you enjoy hearing new acts.

VANT – Dork Stage, The Wardrobe

Kicking off proceedings for day were VANT. Things started off nice and slow to warm the crowd up with a couple of new acoustic tracks before breaking out the electric guitar. Vant mixed older tracks with his newer solo tracks which really worked well to show the mix of his tunes across both incarnations of the band. ‘Peace and Love’ sounded huge and a great reaction from the crowd to newer single ‘Thank Lucifer’. Finishing with a nice combo of ‘Karma Seeker’ and ‘Do You Know Me?’ really gave the crowd a nice chance to return the energy with the first mosh pits of the day. Fantastic set to a packed out crowd to start the festival off nicely and prepare me for the rest of the day.

VANT

Horror My Friend – Gigwise Stage, Leeds Becketts SU 2

Continuing the theme of indie/punk were Australian band Horror My Friend. Despite a few technical issues with their guitars, they managed to show the quality of music a band can make with a guitar, bass and drums. By the time they got into their stride the crowd were banging their heads and as the set went on the crowd grew massively to fill the stage. Finishing with ‘DIYS’ led to a nice heavy end showing their punk side off well. A great new discovery and certainly one I’ll be looking into in the future.

Horror My Friend

Saint Agnes – Upset Stage, The Key Club

Taking things up a notch next at The Key Club were Saint Agnes. Combining powerful vocals, heavy drum beats and jarring guitars shouldn’t have worked but the band smashed it and sounded fantastic! Having discovered them through the festival playlist I was sure how the turnout would be given they were heavier than most bands playing today however from the packed out venue it was clear that this band were high on a lot of peoples agendas, Saint Agnes worked through their hits perfectly with ‘Diablo Take Me Home’ causing the whole crowd to jump and bang their heads before finishing with ‘Welcome To Silvertown’ to really go out in style by diving into the crowd for one final party. Certainly one to check out if you dig the rockier side of things!

Saint Agnes

Lucas Watt – The Social

After the intensity from Saint Agnes it was a huge change to catch Lucas Watt. Armed with his acoustic guitar and a couple of band mates he showed just how impressive a singer/songwriter he really is. Hits like ‘Tightrope’ and ‘Why Do I Call’ showing how powerful his vocals are. The Social was packed out and the whole crowd were bobbing along to his songs. Treating us to some tracks from his new EP also went down a storm and from the looks of the crowd his headline show in Leeds later this year will be very impresive to say the least.

Lucas Watt

Inhaler – The Chapel

Following on from a short much break it was straught back into the music with Inhaler. Pulling sounds from both alt-rock and indie seemed to be keeping the large crowd happy and whilst it didn’t do much for me personally, it seemed to go down well with the rest of the crowd. Taking heavy inspiration from bands like Joy Division and U2 it was clear in their sound musically that they had tried to incorporate them using heavy synths and light guitars. Whilst not a band that I will be following I’m sure that plenty in the crowd will be keeping a close eye on them in the near future.

Inhaler

Hot Milk – Upset Stage, The Key Club

Marked as one of my top bands to see there was certainly an air of anticipation whilst waiting for Hot Milk to take to the stage. Crashing on to the stage they proceeded to blow all expectation out the water in a 30 minute set that seemed to fly by. Whilst Live at Leeds doesn’t usually put on much pop punk it was a breath of fresh air and seemed to be very popular with the crowd. Mixing up the two vocal styles worked really well and certainly set them apart from other pop punk bands coming out that the moment. The crowd were loving it with jumping and bouncing throughout the set with a few small pits opening at the band’s request. I can’t wait to hear more from them as the two unreleased tracks they played sounded brilliant. Definitely a band that I’ll be checking out at Slam Dunk/Download if I get the chance.

Hot Milk

She Drew The Gun – NME Stage, Riley Smith Hall
After their incredible performance at The Wardrobe back in 2017, She Drew The Gun were high on my list of bands to see. Since then the following of the band has grown and it was great to see them playing to a much larger audience. A great set from the political rockers. Their songs really showing off the powerful messages behind their tracks alongside the talent of the band. New track ‘Something For The Pain’ drew singalongs from the crowd and dancing throughout. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse halfway through when the set was cut short due to illness. Hopefully they’ll be coming back soon as they seem to be going from strength to strength with the release of the new album ‘Revolution Of Mind’.

She Drew The Gun

Fatherson – Dance To the Radio Stage, The Church

After missing their set at 2000trees and their sold out show at Hyde Park Book Club it was about time that I caught these guys live and it was definitely worth the wait. Everything worked perfectly for them and the crowd were clearly on board for the party that Fatherson were bringing. Tracks like ‘Making Waves’ and ‘I Like Not Knowing’ showed them at the top of the game and the brilliant acoustics of Church meant that it sounded just as brilliant. Fantastic vocals soared across the venue and the guitars crashed around it. It was great to see the crowd jump on board with the band banging their heads and dancing around through their slightly longer set. Definitely one of my top bands of the day and certainly one to listen to if you’ve never caught them before!!

Fatherson

The Dunts – The Chapel

Next up it was a short trip from The Church to The Chapel for the penultimate act of the day. Just as the festival was starting to quieten down for the day The Dunts were bringing a huge amount of energy to the chapel. Bringing out their fast paced indie punk tracks meant that the entire crowd had no choice but to move around with a nice pit opening at the front of the crowd. Everything sounded brilliant from the stage and the catchy delivery really worked to build the energy on the stage. The band worked their crowd interaction well getting huge singalongs. Huge tracks in ‘The Birds and Beez’ and ‘Ride The Wave’ showcased their raw talent and showed why everyone had turned up. As a new band for me from the festival they are definitely up there as one of my favourite discoveries from Live At Leeds in a long time.

The Dunts

Jamie Lenman – Upset Stage, The Key Club

There hasnt been a Live At Leeds when my final Act isn’t in the Key Club and this one was no different. When the option is to see Jamie Lenman or not there is only one suitable response. Despite the fact that there was only one guitar and one drum kit on stage we were treated to 40 mins of pure face melting rock to finish the day off nicely! Mixing in a few covers, from his soon to be released album, with hit tracks such as ‘All Of England Is A City’ and ‘Devolver’ really worked amazing to get the crowd moving and banging their heads. Finishing up the class act with the huge sounding ‘Mississippi’ left the crowd screaming M-I-SSI-SSI-PPI as he closed the stage for the day. Originally billed as a special guest, his set certainly lived up to the ‘special’ in its title. A great way to finish the day!

Jamie Lenman

Review – Dream State

Date: 14th April 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: As Sirens Fall, Parting Gift

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Starting the night off were local band As Sirens Fall. Throughout the set they managed to cover just about every part of the alt-rock genre with their list of songs ranging from indie rock all the way to post hardcore. Unfortunately for the band the first few songs were a little muddy with everything sounding at the same level in mix. Luckily this didn’t last the entire set and as they worked through their set the talent and potential showed though. This was especially clear during their heavier tracks with the high vocals providing a nice contrast to the heavier music coming from the rest of the band. There was certainly no lack of energy from As Sirens Fall either as they spent the whole set running around, working the crowd well. A decent set from them as the opening band in preparation for the remaining bands to hit the stage this evening.

Having seen Parting Gift previously I knew the spectacle was about to follow. Going for an atmospheric post hardcore style similar to Dream State they came out to building synths and guitars. The mix of heavy and slow songs worked spot on with Parting Gift finding the perfect balance across their set. The crushing heavy parts were enough to get the crowd banging their heads before the incredible vocals came through to really show the range that the band have. Everything worked in the band’s favour with the crowd getting nice and involved throughout matching the bands energy. Finishing off the set with their top track ‘Asleep’ really showed just how incredible they are. A smashing support slot to build the crowd for Dream State and hopefully a sign of good things to come in the future for Parting Gift.

Parting Gift

The final band on stage for tonight were Dream State. After seeing these guys a few times over the last few years I knew that they were going to put on one hell of a show and given that the show was pretty much sold out it sounded like everyone was finally starting to realise just how good they are.

Coming out swinging right from the start with ‘New Waves’ it was clear to see that tonight was going to be a memorable one for both the band and the audience alike. Within the first couple of songs the crowd were jumping around and screaming the words at the top of their lungs. With the band clearly shocked at the amount of people that had turned up to see them they smashed through new song ‘Hand In Hand’ with perfection. Setting herself apart from most vocalists CJ showed just how much the songs meant to her, emphasising this with the emotion and rawness in her vocals really adding an extra layer to the performance. Alongside the set of songs from both EPs there were also a few surprises thrown in with a brilliant cover of ‘Crawling’ by Linkin Park which went down a treat with the crowd as well as a taste of one of the songs to come off their new album which certainly gave everyone a lot to look forward to when it releases. Packing that many great songs into a set meant that it flew by. This wasn’t helped by the fact it was a slightly shorter headline set than usual, however as they say – good things come in small packages!

With their debut album on the way shortly it definitely feels like this run of shows will really push Dream State onwards and upwards. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them playing much larger venues very soon and they certainly deserve it!

Dream State