Sunday, 4 March 2012

'Hold Your Breath and Count To Ten' - Dog Is Dead, 26/02/2012 Leeds Cockpit,

Seas Of Green
Seas Of Green
On their official facebook page, Leeds based Seas of Green declare themselves to be 'a 
Young Lo -Fi Indie Pop DIY Musical Collective.' They’re weren’t lying. Taking to the stage looking very unsure of themselves, I don’t hold out a whole lot of hope, but after a couple of false starts and some shaky stage banter, they make it clear that they have a well voiced frontman and a good understanding of song structure on their side. A cover of Radiohead’s Lotus Flower is a bold move to make, but they come out of it still standing. When all their own jigsaw pieces fall into place, they may well be worth another visit.
Bearfoot Beware










Bearfoot Beware
In contrast, Bearfoot Beware are well voiced in the art of crowd entertaining. Proudly declaring themselves to be ‘the chocolate spread in tonight’s ham sandwich’, they do stick out somewhat in tonight’s line up, but clearly aren’t ruffled by it, delivering a sound that knits together elements of The Futureheads and At The Drive In with their own distinctive style . Continuing their fondness for certain sandwich fillings, ‘Lemon Curd', presents itself as their best track, all members thrashing away at their instruments, their fingers disturbingly rapid.



Fiction
Fiction
Fiction’s percussionist has the best job in the world. Spending his Sunday night whacking a water dispenser and actually making it sound good (not to mention getting paid to do it), he’s living the dream. As a band, they put forward some really interesting ideas, but as a widely unpublicised addition to tonight’s bill, they struggle a little before a young audience clearly impatient for some Dog Is Dead. It’s their loss, because the second half of their set is twice as exciting as the first, a blur of multi intrumentalism that gets everybody murmuring with enthusiasm, especially when they reach ‘Big Things’, so instant in it’s appeal that the friend I'm with insists it must be a cover. What Fiction do is nothing more than traditional artrock, but in a live setting where there’s so much to watch, it definitely works.


Dog Is Dead
Dog Is Dead

Attracting a far more diverse crowd than when they played Cockpit 3 a few months prior, I couldn't help feeling a little like a proud mother when Nottingham’s finest Dog Is Dead took to the stage. The room filled with a mixture of very young kids and bona fide lads (I found myself smiling for the majority of the set at the pair behind me who knew every single word and bellowed along despite lacking any concept of tune), a steady career trajectory similar to that of Bombay Bicycle Club or The Maccabees doesn't seem unlikely.


Whilst little has changed in their stage demeanour since they last visited the Cockpit, they have accumulated more tunes. New single 'Two Devils', with it’s dark lyrical imagery and ‘Where Is My Mind’-esque melody is infinitely more mature than anything they’ve written before, and it stands out here in the live setting, receiving rapturous applause that doesn't go unnoticed by the band themselves. A similar reception is saved for ‘Talk Through The Night’ and the purging set closer, Teenage Daughter’ which leaves the crowd baying for more.

Dog Is Dead
 Just before I start to mentally berate them for skipping my favourite song, they return to the stage with their calling card, 'Glockenspiel Song’, creating a last minute surge to the front and soundtracking a youthful couple in the front row, who enthusiastically explore each other’s mouths in a highly off-putting manner throughout. However, in the bizzarest of ways, the pair seem to personify the music Dog Is Dead make: gleeful, summery melodies than speak of youth and fun, allowing every person in the audience to get involved. At this stage, with a debut album still in the works, owning 8 songs this catchy and well-rounded is a great omen.

Photography courtesy of Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)


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