We’re always keen to broaden our horizons here at CackBlabbath, so Live at Leeds 2012 was a perfect opportunity to (mostly) leave our musical comfort zone far behind and sample something a bit different…
Our day started with a trip to the o2 Academy for I Like Trains. This was a comparatively safe start as their The Shallows album has been our laid back listen of choice for quite a while now, so we were fairly sure that a treat was in store
And so it turned out.
One of the things that got me during the band’s assured, emotional performance was that the crowd didn’t appear to be awake, or certainly didn’t appear to be moving very much. OK we didn’t expect circle pits but surely something, anything… nope.
Loads of people here were obviously too cool to move
I Like Trains were all we hoped they would be and more. Songwriting abilities, captivating performance, obvious heartfelt emotion, this is a band who’s live performance does justice to their recorded work, and who appear to have everything going for them.
What a way to start our day.
Right, the next port of call was Leeds Met, where Bastille were up next. Now this was a band that were described as playing “perfect pop music” but we didn’t let that put us off, and just as well cos they were really bloody good.
Now we’re no experts on pop music, but Bastille certainly have a knack for writing a catchy song, with front man Dan capturing and holding the attention. The secret of good pop is to write something that people remember without really trying, and judging by the way certain members of the CackBlabbath team were singing Icarus to themselves for days afterwards it’s a secret that Bastille have cracked.
If today was about discovering cool new music, then Bastille were the big discovery of the festival. There is something sublime about their nigh-on perfect pop songs, and they were definitely one of the bands of the day for us.
Who’d have thunk, eh ??
Enthused by our new-found love for all things not-metal we headed back to the O2 Academy where Jessie Ware was doing her stuff. Now the first surprise was that each member of the band appeared to have brought a small picnic table on stage with them.
Nope, seriously, a picnic table…
It’s fair to say that Jessie Ware and the band are seriously good at what they do, and it was an enjoyable set even if, like us, you’re not exactly an aficionado of R’n'B. At least the o2 Academy crowd seemed to have woken up a bit by now, may have been the alcohol
Alas, it was to be a step too far in CackBlabbath’s exploration of unfamiliar regions of the musical landscape next. Now fair’s fair horses for courses and all that, but we really couldn’t see the appeal of Nikki and the Dove. It was strange, we kinda wanted to like them but just couldn’t. They certainly looked the part but their over simplistic dancey beats and uninspiring songwriting just left us feeling flat.
Maybe it was partly because Niki kept glowering at the sound desk rather than trying to make any connection with the audience, or maybe it was the sub Kate Bush vibe she appeared to be trying to channel. Whatever it was we lasted about a song and a half before making our excuses and leaving
Our next port of call was an unsuccessful attempt to get into Nation of Shopkeepers for the highly regarded Binary. I mean described as a mix of “Echo and The Bunnymen and early U2″ what’s not to like. They did sound bloody good from the street outside, which is as close as we got as the venue was rammed.
Right, enough of this pop and dance stuff, it was time to head off to the Well, where loud guitars were promised, and Shortie takes up the story here….