Live at Leeds Metropolitan University on Wednesday, 9th March 2011
It's the 9th of March and it's the date of the re-scheduled gig for The Wombats at Leeds Metropolitan University. The crowd gathers outside the venue at around half 6, and it appears that the crowd are full of teenagers reliving their youth and memories of school, growing up listening to "A guide to Love, Loss and Desperation". With a younger audience it could have been considered as the "last night of freedom" considering results day followed. With winds escalating to gales, queuing for around an hour became unpleasant after a while.
"We're Zen Arcade, We hope you enjoy", and enjoy is what I certainly did. A short and sweet introduction by front man, Felix, summed up the melodious set which embraced elegant harmonies and glorious synths. Reigning from London, Zen Arcade is a five piece indie band from London. The quirkiness of the guitars reminded me of Bombay Bicycle Club, and the vocals carried a light tone which resembled Vampire Weekend, however they still carried individuality collectively creating a sweet indie sound. At first the crowd seemed apprehensive towards the band, however they played popular track "Freefall" and the crowd erupted into awe for the band. They had the difficult task of playing first, however I felt that they did themselves justice. The band announced that it was their last song of the night, and the crowd showed a real disappointment, furthermore, Zen Arcade were a top opening act and set the mood for a nights worth of Indie goodness.
Main support for the night, were 3-piece, indie electro band Get People. Also from London, they provided a sophisticated array of instruments which truly stunned the audience. Bongos, cowbells and synthesisers galore! I highly tip these guys as the English version of Two Door Cinema Club. They played a good mix of songs which highly resembled the 80's, and could have been mistaken as a tribute to George Michael. Heavy keyboard riffs, tight drum beats, and perfectly crafted harmonies really highlighted the quality of Get People. Again, the band proved to be popular with the crowd, especially the singer, wearing a snoopy top, which dazzled many fans. The only criticism of Get People was the over use of electronic sounds. At times the band proved to have so many sounds it proved difficult to hear the vocals, and sometimes undermined the drums as the drum samples, seemed to overpower the drummer.
Finally, arriving on stage at 9.15, The Wombats calmly entered the sold out capacity venue, and burst into the crowds favourite "Backfire at the disco". The room was shaking with everyone jumping around. Not one person seemed to keep still, even if they were only tapping their feet, the realisation that The Wombats had hit Leeds! A brief introduction came soon after from guitarist and front man, Matthew Murphy, who seemed overwhelmed by the reaction from the crowd. The band successfully created a set list full of old and new material which was received well by the audience. Newly released track "Jump into the fog" sent the fans into hysterics, and soon small mosh pits broke free. Even though the band is classed as "indie" they certainly sustained the breakdown superbly in "Kill the Director", and all chaos ran free. The band seemed refreshed considering they had been on tour for the last seven days. The show was well rehearsed, and showed that no matter how much fancy lighting effects are put behind them, they still create a bloody good show. Nothing but pure energy leaked out from the walls of Leeds Metropolitan University, and when singer Matt said "This is our last song, but don't go anywhere, because The Wombats haven't quite figured out the encore", they burst of with another favourite "Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)" from new album "The Modern Glitch". A personal highlight of the show was of course, the encore. The band re-emerged, slightly less sweaty, and ripped through new single "Anti-D" to an interesting slide show containing an eye, and its revolutions. It is clear that The Wombats are dropping the guitar based song, for the new synth era, with promising products. The final song "Let's dance to Joy Division" caused an absolute uproar, with many fans crowd surfing their way out of the venue. In the final bars of the song, Matt Murphy, placed his guitar against his amp, took the microphone off the stand and jumped into the crowd. Hundreds of fans attempting to grab him, all chanting the ending lines of "We're so happy, and we're so happy". I can certainly say that the thousand fans crammed into the venue were certainly leaving happy.