Live at Cockpit on Thursday, 18th September 2003
Come with me on a little journey in time all the way back to late 2001 when this reviewer was reluctantly in Heaven and Hell with some pissed-up pals. As a lover of rock and roll and a purveyor of musical taste I wasn't very happy about being in the said establishment and felt like a fish out of water. Therefore imagine my relief at spotting a scruffy looking youngster with Casablancas stylings (it was 2001 after all) amongst the array of townie students, so I made a beeline for him. We chattered away all night, his name was Coyle and he was very proud of the fact he was in a band and they'd played Joseph's Well and everything. In fact he was the most arrogant thing I'd ever met and it was for this reason that he stuck in my mind. So, imagine my surprise when now, nearly two years later there he is on stage with his band Orka playing in a support slot for The Blueskins. Imagine my even bigger surprise when the cocky bastard I met years ago is actually really good!
Orka present us with all the right haircuts, all the right clothes, and all the right moves so they'll be shit right? That's just the way it works. But no, Orka have a collection of excellent songs to back up the image and while Coyle is giving it the whole 'Peter from Fame Academy' doe-eyed rock-pout charisma, songs like Electric City and Your Vegas stop him from looking like a loser because they're really very good. Check them out.
So on to the main event. There is an impressive turn out for (relatively) local boys The Blueskins from Wakefield. This is their first major headline tour after supporting the 22-20's earlier in the year.
The band shyly amble on stage and everyone just keeps chatting, when it becomes apparent that no one's really noticed that they're there, frontman Ryan Spendlove helps things along with a bellowing 'Good evening Leeds, we're THE BLUESKINS!' From this point onwards things go swimmingly. The band play with energy and enthusiasm aplenty and create an unexpectedly grown up sound for such young men. If the Kings of Leon were British they'd be The Blueskins.
At times this band show some moments of real inspiration but right now they're just moments. The Blueskins have both the fan base and the confidence to make people listen.