Live at Carpe Diem on Saturday, 8th November 2003
How could any one miss this gig?!! No, I'm not talking about the fact that this gig is free. I'm not even saying how could anyone miss one of the best young acts in Leeds in Saving Lenny. No, I'm talking about the fact that this gig was impossible to miss because it started so late!!! About 9:22pm to be precise! Most of Carpe Diem should have been in bed by that time, from looking at the majority of the crowd. How they were getting served at the bar is anyone's guess, because the boys probably hadn't even cut themselves shaving, and the girls hadn't stopped playing with their Barbies by the looks of things. However this wasn't to say that they shouldn't have a good time. And a good time was had by all.
This was The Lake Resistance's first ever gig, and I was pleasantly surprised by how they handled themselves. The bassist and drummer were tighter than some of the bands on the music scene that have been doing it for a lot longer, and the lead guitarist could really play, whilst the rhythm guitarist kept it ticking over. The singing wasn't the best I have heard, but it certainly wasn't the worst, and it is an area that could and should be worked on to improve. A smile, or a sign to show that the band were enjoying it wouldn't have gone a miss though. A great surprise was the lack of covers in their set, only one or two I think, showing these guys had at least had the guts to perform most of their own stuff, the let down with their own stuff however is that it has no original influence, bits taken from REM, bits taken from Oasis, Led Zep and Sublime etc, but I'm certain that these guys can take something good away from this gig, now that it's 'phew first one's over'. 6/10
Time was something I wasn't keeping on this night so I have no idea what time the second band came on, must have been about 10:10pm, or something, and so to Polarized. They started of really brightly, sort of prog rock ska, with jazzy elements.
I wasn't really sure what to make out of it all, because for every good bit I felt there was a bit of a let down, by all means they could all play their instruments and style of music well, but I just felt that they could have manipulated some of the parts to they songs more. The best song though by far was when a mascot with a polar bear's head (Digs I think he was called?) joined the band on stage. It may have been mostly instrumental, but this had all the elements that they should focus on, nice quite funky ska bit, rippingly loud punk bit. After that song I was all-ears focused for the last three songs, which sadly again didn't really keep my attention as much as the Polar bear song. Well the jury's out on this band but it's up to you to go and seem them to get the verdict. 7/10
Well Carpe Diem is still packed full of the 'kids' for the main event. Finally it is here, as Miss Harkin takes to the stage to really get this party started! Jesus! The first song flies by in no time at all, taking flight so high that the roof is coming of the building by the end. The 'kids' love it of course.
Into the second song and 'wow!' this is actually really really good stuff from these guys! They have really come along since I saw them the last time, the band are having a party, and that means the crowd are partying, why I didn't start the conga I do not know! Mike Lenny's guitar is louder than I have ever heard before and this means I can hear actually how solid he is at actually playing his axe, for once. Mike No.2 Lenny keeps up the usually solid rhythms from bass, and Nestor is drumming faster and harder than I have ever seen him play. The Sax's are giving the crowd a great time with their synchronized movements, whilst Katie is the star of the show, the ring mistress, the main attraction, her voice full of raw emotion, showing that she means every word that she says, and that it comes right from the heart. Jelly babies are thrown into the crowd by the band, so we can all keep up our sugar levels whilst skanking like mad to the classics such as 'Dead and Breakfast, and Sammy's Song'.
The new songs are definitely different to the older songs in the sense that they take much more of a look in at the garage rock scene, rather than pure ska, though this doesn't hinder and adds a spicy twist to Saving Lenny's music. Saving Lenny are probably the most improved band in Leeds at this moment, but the question is can they take it to the next level and join The Agency, Buzzkill and Mr Shiraz at the top of the tree, or will they rise to the challenge of getting past the big three, and taking all the glory themselves? Because on this performance they deserve that more. 9/10