Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Theme Park/ The Cast Of Cheers, Leeds Cockpit, 29/02/2012


Fun Adults

Taking to the stage in the understated manner I have now realised is customary of bands playing Leeds Cockpit, Fun Adults set about proving that their name is a misnomer from the off. With plenty of sedated, brooding Matt Bellamy-esque vocals over low fi guitar string twiddling, they owe a little too much to Wild Beasts, but are nonetheless doing a gorgeously melancholy job. Until the synths cut out. Cue several awkward minutes of bleeping and bonking before they can get it going again, and from which they never properly recover. It’s a shame, because last song ‘Horses’ is oddly mesmerizing, twinkling guitar lines peeking out from behind the curtain of the dark, ‘drop-it-like-it’s hot’ drum beats.


Theme Park
Theme Park

It’s tradition that on every leap year, a woman is 
‘allowed’ to propose to a man. The first of tonight’s headliners, Theme Park may well have been fending off plenty of offers, with guitarist Marcus Haughton sporting one of the best vintage shirts I've seen this side of Camden and making backing vocals look as natural as yawning. But enough about their aesthetic. The London four-piece may be down a member with bassist Louis off in North America playing keys for Bombay Bicycle Club, but tonight they deliver a show that is gloriously 80s, and it feels good. With so many buzz bands being pretentious about their influences, they are a wonderfully cheery with clear song structures and competent vocalist in Miles Haughton. Both singles ‘Wax’ and ‘Milk’ are like expanding bath flannels in water; sprawling and filling the room. However, it is currently unreleased track ‘Jamaica’ that is a real gem, the natural soundtrack to a lazy afternoon on a lilo, casually asking the poolside barman to top up your margherita. Come festival season, Theme Park may find themselves being very popular.


The Cast of Cheers
The Cast Of Cheers

If Foals had been to playgroup with Bloc Party, before being kidnapped, locked in a cave and reared on only testosterone and red bull, they might have come out sounding a little like The Cast of Cheers. They may take to the stage looking more like the staff of Computer Active magazine on a office party gone wrong, but they prove themselves to be really bloody good. And really, really loud. The drum beat alone cause my heart to throw itself at my ribs in a desperate bid for freedom. Despite said drummer clearly not being able to hear what's going on due to monitor problems, he is meticulous in his delivery, all four limbs aloft as he struggles to stay in his seat, the driving force behind the outfit. With guitar pedal triggers that make a noise not dissimilar to when it’s game over on Space Invaders, they are Scott Pilgrim VS The World in music form, and immensely new and entertaining with it. 


Images by Charlotte Hanson and Jenessa Williams

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