Today has been a long day. Having encountered what feels like a life time’s worth of train travel, I’m relieved that there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel – The tunnel being a train tunnel, and the light being that of the Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen in Leeds.
I’ve never been to a show in Leeds before, but I’ve heard untold good things about the Brudenell Social Club and the Belgrave. There’s also the seemingly never ending conveyor belt of rad bands emerging from those parts!
The reason I’ve favoured a night in Leeds over sleep in a nice, warm bed back home in Manchester is for Japanese trio tricot; tonight being the penultimate show of their UK headline tour, as well as their only Northern date.
Support comes a bit closer to home, with Leeds trio Bearfoot Beware doing the honours. Bearfoot Beware have risen up the ranks at pace in my personal crop of favourite bands, so it’s a delight to see them open up the show.
‘Thick Black Warpaint’ is near deafening from inside the bathroom across the hall, so I’m greeted with a barrage of noise when I actually enter the main room where the band are playing. On stage, the three-piece smash through hit after hit from their debut album ‘World Owes You Nowt’, with favourite ‘He Should’ve Died (As A Kid)’ nipping at the heels of the opener.
Bearfoot Beware always have a great energy whenever I see them, and tonight is no different. At one point, bassist Ric coolly takes a momentary break from energetically thrashing about on his guitar to inquire what the next song is from front man Tom. This is one in only a few breaks in between songs, with another being to announce that they’re from Leeds. Even when drummer Mike loses a few sticks mid-song and boots away part of his kit, he still has at it with just the one arm.
Bearfoot Beware are (obviously) playing a load more shows this year, with the next two months loaded with appearances alongside the likes of &U&I, Body Hound, Vasa and Cleft. It’s your duty to make sure you head along to a show; dates can be found here.
The minute tricot make their way on stage, I’m transported back to when I first discovered them. Their mere arrival has me all agog; my jaw grazing the floor. I’m not the only one, with their Northern debut dropping jaws throughout the whole room.
Having decapitated a few punters with the opener, the second tune in sees the pace come down a touch, with guitarist Motoko “Motifour” Kida giving the crowd a peek at her guitar wielding chops. Fucking hell, what a guitarist. Cool as a cucumber, her playing appears effortless.
tricot have been knocking about as a three-piece for a while now, following the departure of their original drummer after the release of debut album ‘The’. Their sophomore album ‘And’ was subsequently produced utilising a number of drummers, each bringing their own style and take on the music.
The drummer for this tour is instantly noticeable for sporting your Nans’ haircut, but this is soon overlooked when she absolutely batters the kit. The frantic ‘Niwa’ is a particular highlight, with the drummer putting in a proper shift as the rest of the band dance around on stage, Motifour blasting away on a whistle whilst her fellow band members play extra percussion instruments.
When I was recently organising an interview with the kick-arse ladies of Kyoto (which you can read here), I was informed by their manager that their grasp of English isn’t too great. This comes up during the set, with vocalist and guitarist Ikumi “Ikkyu” Nakajima wanting to interact with the crowd but finding herself stuck for words. But their grasp of English doesn’t matter a lick when matched up against their enthusiasm, with Ikkyu opting instead to rally the troops by shouting out to the Leeds contingent “Let’s have a good time!”
Rolling Stone allegedly described tricot as “Adrenalized math rock sped up and given pop’s candy coating” which couldn’t be any more spot on. Frantic math-rock canoodling with all manner of styles, with a tip of the hat to J-pop here and there. Stupendous.
tricot are nearing the finish line of their European adventure, having sadly left the UK mid-March. When I mentioned ArcTanGent Festival to the girls in our interview at the end of February, pint-sized bassist Hiromi “Hirohiro” Sagane was unfamiliar with the award winning, grass roots festival. But just imagine that! I can’t think of a band that I’d like to see more at ArcTanGent – hell, if this run of shows across the UK is anything to go by, they would be worth the ticket price alone. Hopefully we’ll be seeing tricot in a muddy field this August!