If you find yourself in Leeds craving some odd-metered, mathy goodness, then Stu Ramsay of Bad Owl Presents is more than likely to be your supplier – bringing excellent Math Rock bands from all across the country into Leeds, in order to satisfy some patient Yorkshire ears.
The night kicked off with Trigger Thumb, a trio of young lads who opened up with some incredibly self-deprecating banter and some of the most high tuned prog-rock I’ve ever heard. They sounded a bit like if Arcane Roots and Muse had a very handsome baby together – the combination of filthy riffs and impressive vocal talent (from both the guitarist and the bassist) delivering an incredible vast sound from this three piece. Their drummer blistered away with greatly detailed parts behind the wall of sound being delivered by the guitarist and bassist, making Trigger Thumb definitely a band to watch.
This lead onto Envoys, playing their first hometown show fresh off their appearance at this years ArcTanGent and one of their first jaunts out with their new bassist – who seamlessly fits into the mix of the band, sitting as the juicy rhythm-section meat with the drummer between the two whole-wheat bread guitar players, providing the audience with a riff filled sandwich to be savoured. Envoys don’t mess around, instantly going into a collection of ethereal & winding riffs, showing a great use of space in their music, throwing some emotive vocals into the mix every now and again. The sense of atmosphere Envoys can create with such little materials to hand is impressive to say the least, making them the new best friend of any big time Post-Rock fans in the audience.
Riff mongers Body Hound then set up to play and are the first band I’ve ever seen to have the crowd move back. A controversial move to open with, but it seemed well advised once the bass player ignored the stage for the majority of the set, proceeding to karate chop the air with his instrument and run around performing a two step/ballet routine for the next half hour. Body Hound did exactly what they do best – make everyone gurn. The complex, head spinning riffs motivating the crowd to attempt moving along to the odd-metres and time-signatures, in turn motivating the band to do the bunny hop. It was an incredibly fun set – more notes than I ever thought could be played in a thirty minute period were unleashed with ferocity upon me, Body Hound all the while keeping it very professional – what a band.
Thus lead to the headliners, Lost In The Riots, the riff pedalling Londoners jumping straight into a deep set of big hooky riffs, full of fast and heavy beats. They are in the same vein of incredibly motivational and dance-worthy instrumental bands like And So I Watch You From Afar and Axes, only with much more emphasis on brutally heavy breakdown riffs. There was little patience from Lost In The Riots, with their music being all GO all the time, demonstrating great deals of urgency and showing the band as being incredibly pro-active and well rehearsed in their craft. I felt like I had the energy I had been previously lacking to finish that cleaning and also like I was gonna two-step whilst I did it following their set.
All in all, it was a very good night – all of the bands put on were excellent. Stu did a phenomenal job of booking a cracker of a lineup and I drank my weight in Orange Juice for the whole night. Top drawer.