Live at HiFi Club on Friday, 2nd September 2005
Once again, it's that time of the month (no, not that one) but the one in which the whole of Leeds descends on the small but perfectly formed Hi-Fi club for the biggest (and longest) party in town. This is the Tea Time Shuffle, kids.
First up on tonight's excellent looking bill are Unexploded Shells, a kind of perky power pop band, with lots of grinding guitars, awkward lyrics and bouncy drums. Not bad, but maybe a few months down the line, they'll be on top of their game. It was a strong start though, and seeing as how the band consists of both Mr. Goodhand and Mr. Sturdy, I'll quit while I'm ahead...
Next up Buen Chico come bounding onto the stage with their even perkier power pop, but with bouncier drums and crazier guitar work. It was a nice change and a breath of air for everyone waiting for the headliners tonight, something to bounce along inanely too before things get a bit too heavy. In a word, they were ace.
After a well-earned beer break, Xi (that's pronounced "Z-eye" apparently) are on, with their atmospheric synths, programmed beats and loud, Tool-esque guitar lines, they were very interesting indeed. Certainly a nice change and a testimonial to just how eclectic these nights can be, Xi were a bit more metal and a bit less arty than the ever approaching headlining band, but still made for an interesting listen, and one that was well worth it.
O Fracas. There are no more words that anyone in Leeds can say about them, because in all probability, they've already been said. A frenzied mash up of Franz Ferdinand style angular new wave, and crazy art house funk a la Mars Volta's more sanity depraved moments, O Fracas certainly have a unique sound. Still, they put on a good show, and the crowd were very much appreciative.
And then, yes, it's time, the big one, the band everyone in Leeds loves, the band that are going to go huge, the band... oh enough foreplay, it's iLiKETRAiNS.
Epic, sweeping slabs of melancholic guitar float over Dave's baritone drawl before being pulped by Simon's massive, booming drums, all set to projections to the right of the stage by Ashley, who also braps his cornet once in a while too. And that's just the first song.
Obviously post-rock, but absolutely amazing, iLiKETRAiNS yearn and croon like no-one else in the city can do at the moment, building each song around simple yet effective guitar lines into huge great swathes of harsh guitar noise, the band are just on fire, and boy do they know it. The crowd roars as Dave suggests "are you going to applaud everything I say?" jokingly.
"Rob, can we do one more? Even if it's nine minutes long?" Yeah, they know it, we know it, and everyone who saw them knows it. They're going fucking huge.