Last Saturday, Lu and I descended upon the city of Leeds to enjoy an evening of drinking with some loud, heavy music in the form of Alexisonfire mixed in for good measure. I'm not really any good at reviewing music, so this will be an entirely subjective string of sentences summing up my experience of the night.
I'm sorry to say but for most of The Computers set, we were still in the bar drinking so what we did hear was really just muffled sounds over the bustle of the busy bar.
We did manage to catch a couple of songs which made me wish we'd gone in a little earlier. Upon entering the main stage area, I was surprised to hear lots of vocals but no singer on stage and for a second was a little bemused until I realised the lead vocalist was standing about 10 feet away in the middle of the crowd with a microphone on a stand (with stagehands following him around making sure cabling didn't get mashed) and a guitar with a wireless pack. He periodically picked up his mic stand, went for a wander through the crowd, put it down and blasted some screams and solos before continuing through the crowd.
Although that was a pretty impressive sight I couldn't help feeling this was a bit gimmicky. I spent so much time watching what he was doing that my brain wasn't really registering the music, nor did I spend a great deal of time watching the guys left on stage. I would have liked to have seen the whole set to see them perform more as a group but I supposed there's always time for it. They are a local band after all.
I'd never heard of Chickenhawk until we got inside the venue so I didn't know what to expect. After a quick tweet, I got a reply from Dan recommending them and I thought they were great. Tons of energy, loud, screamy, shouty, loveliness.
Unfortunately, they didn't win over the rest of our group but life would be boring if we all liked the same things I guess. I still went home and bought their album but that's for another day...
The main event
Not long after Chickenhawk had finished, we started hearing odd cheers from the front of the crowd. Even though we were near the back, we were still pretty close to the stage but I couldn't see what the fuss was about. Eventually, they took to the stage and dived straight into possibly the most furious show I've seen. The energy these guys have on stage resonates out into the crowd within the first few seconds and they keep up the pace throughout stopping only momentarily between songs.
The played a good mixture of tracks, mainly from their last two albums but threw in some from their new EP (which I'm ashamed to say am yet to buy) and also some of their earlier stuff for good measure. Two hightlights for me were "Pulmonary Archery" from their self-titled LP, Alexisonfire and "Happiness By The Kilowatt" from their second LP, Watch Out!.
On a topic unrelated to music, special mention has to go to Chris Steele (Bass) for his stellar effort for Movember.
What I was most impressed with is how tight they were as a band. I've seen some bands who play well but don't really appear to be enjoying it too much. These guys quite clearly love what they do and it bleeds into the atmosphere of the show and of course, the music.
If you like this band, seeing them is a must. You won't regret it.