War On DrugsLeeds Academy
Two albums of theirs I've enjoyed and still do, plus a terrific set at the Green Man fest last year and it occurred to me that still this band divide opinion. Some people whose music views i respect absolutely hate them or at least don't rate them at all. That kind of thing has never tempered my own views so I got 4 tickets for this and the four of us left home base Grove to be ensconced in the Vic in time for a pre gig brace.
Sure enough the band were already on stage by the time we got there so we split up to get individual vantage points.
First thing that struck me was the visual. Blimey, he looks like Rory Gallagher right down to the check shirt, hair and actual guitar stance.
That's the disconcerting thing about this band. They are a patchwork quilt of a band taking offcuts and patterns from other bands particularly '80s bands and make a multi coloured cloak out of them. The flat pack slappy sometimes syncopated drum led rhythm section is pure '80s indie dance.
The vocals too have that softer slightly reverbed sound popular then. All this is not to day they are a copy cat band. They do manage to produce their own sound. The guitar playing is tastefully dreamy very melodic and decorative whilst the band are tight and kick up a rolling groove.
What they do not have are the killer songs, the blockbusters, the handfull of "whistle test" favourites that the bands they are influenced by have.
Having played all the ones i was looking forward to hearing, having endured the incessant talking behind me and finally succumbing to biological necessities of middle age i retired to the loo. Somehow in the labyrinth of the Academy ground floor i emerged back in a completely different place stage right by the merch desk. 70 minutes had gone and the narrow sugary furrow the band plough had become a tad cloying. Like eating biscuits, enough was enough and i waited outside across the road on the steps in the cooling night for the others.
We were all of the same mind, decent enough live band, lovely albums but a threshold of about a hour before they lose you.