Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Canterbury (More Than You'll Ever Know, The Proxies, Straight Lines), Leeds Cockpit, 05/02/2012

(promo photo by Samuel Bradley www.sambradleyphotography.com.)

Here at safetyinsound I am a big champion of pop punk music, having essentially grown up on it. As a genre, it seems to be getting a bad name these days, labelled as a throwaway genre or lesser art form, just because it doesn't take itself too seriously or attempt to redefine music. Nonetheless, one of the newer bands on the scene who I genuinely feel to have some integrity are four piece Canterbury. Having impressed me with supports slots on You Me At Six and Enter Shikari tours, I was intrigued as to how they functioned as a headline act, and got the chance to see them in action when they hit Leeds Cockpit as part of an extensive UK tour.

Off to a good start thanks to three high quality local supports, in the form of More Than You’ll Ever Know (who so kindly provided me with free copies of their EP’s, to be reviewed in the near future on SiS), The Proxies (making Pendulum sound good since 2012) and Straight Lines (good time guitar pop), Canterbury arrived onstage to a hero’s welcome from the ardent fans gripping the barrier. Starting with the hook laden Peace and Quiet from their debut mini album ‘ThankYou’, I was yet again forced to question the nature of an industry where a band like this are yet to be snapped up by a record label. Admittedly, pop punk is a genre that is hardly short of young whippersnappers citing themselves as the next big thing, but what elevates Canterbury above their peers is a vocal strength that many guitar groups overlook, possessing not only a powerful lead singer but two backing vocalists who provide harmonies that make the likes of Take Me Out Of The Wall and More Than Know sound a lot bigger than they do on record. In fact, each of the tracks played tonight from the band’s forthcoming second album (expected Mid Summertime) are far more instant than any of their pervious material, displaying an increasing confidence with song structure and arrangement.

At this stage in their career, Canterbury are obviously a fans band, although interestingly enough, they seem as just as popular with boys as they do with the girls, suggesting good things for their crossover appeal. Lyrics are sung back with diligence, my personal favourite Set You Right prompting a barrage of genteel jostling that fast dissolved into an out and out mosh pit. If they wish to take their career to the next level, a few more songs of this calibre would do them enormous favours. For now however, they look as if they’re headed in the right direction.

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