Live at Nation of Shopkeepers on Saturday, 28th November 2009
First on to the Nation of Shopkeepers' low-slung stage are O. Children. The band start playing then enormous frontman Gauthier strolls on, his size equalled only by the depth of his voice - imagine if Barry White had been tutored by Ian Curtis while standing on his shoulders and you come somewhere close. Likened to Bauhaus and early goth-rockers, this is a fair comparison but they certainly have their own identity which isn't all doom and gloom - Ace Breasts for example being an amusing ode to (as you probably guessed) breasts. That and Dead Disco Dancer were possibly the standout tracks for me in a tight (if brief) set - give them what they came for and leave them wanting more is the order of the day here.
The Nation then goes from fairly well populated to rammed with a sea of bouncing heads for the arrival of London's Filthy Dukes. They came fresh (and very well rehearsed) from various festivals (Leeds, Glastonbury, Beatherder and Creamfields to name a few) this Summer and at the end of a mini live tour. Sadly the evening's lubrication has mostly wiped the set order from my memory but they played all of their recent (and excellent) album (Nonsense in the Dark) in an hour-long set that seemed to fly by. They show that you don't need moving platforms, 200K light shows and to charge 40 quid a ticket to be able to knock your metaphorical socks off; throwing themselves headlong into their bouncy 80s-electro-synth-pop and looking as though they are having as much fun as the crowd. Tearing through Nonsense in the Dark, Messages and This Rhythm amongst others and ending with a roof-raising version of Tupac Robot Club Rock they certainly live up to everything and more I remember from seeing them in a field with a big soundsystem - don't be surprised if the next time they come to Leeds it's in a far larger venue as they deserve to be BIG.
Full credit to No Bones for putting on this show at Nation - it might seem a slightly odd choice to put the 2 bands on together as they don't have much musically in common but that is the beauty of these small gigs in Leeds - there doesn't have to be a flow of identical sound throughout the night and it will have introduced some people to new and different music which can only be a good thing.