What do you get when you force the Pixies into a head-on collision with Smashing Pumpkins? Dinosaur Pile Up. The Leeds-based three piece have been support slot favourites for nearly 10 years now, their brand of high-school american rock is much more entertaining live than it is on record, setting the emo-nostalgia tone that will weigh so well over tonights proceedings. Drawing heavily on the 2013 record 'Nature Nurture', their set is loud and passionate if not entirely original, culminating in the album's title track, massively improved by a rabid cameo from Jesse Lacey himself.
When Lacey returns with his day job, thing are far from middle of the road. Flowers adorn their mic stands (presumably an ode to Manchester, and the musical legacy of The Smiths), smiles are wide and the room is sweating with the heat of a venue at full capacity. As Brand New roar into new track Mene, they strain the PA system to the max, vocals barely audible above the pin sharp guitars. As starting a set with a brand new (excuse the pun) song is wont to do, the audience appear somewhat apathetic despite its frenetic pace, a statement of intent for the new era. Things sound amazing, but don't appear to be translating.
Whether its down to how fast tickets sold out, the fact that it's Monday night or the relatively high ticket price of £25, this is no traditional pop punk audience. Pogoing is reserved only for the huge fab favourites 'You Won't Know' 'Sic Transit Gloria', 'Seventy Times Seven', with subtle nodding and polite cheers being the preferred mode of appreciation. There isn't a single crowdsurfer or on-mates-shoulders piggybacker in sight. It's a far cry from the bands reputation as hellraisers, but it isn't overtly suprising - their break out album Deja Entendu is now 12 years old, and many members of tonights audience can probably barely remember high-school, let alone the lovestruck dramas and the late night poetry session that went along with it.
That doesn't mean to say that tonight's gig is bad. It isn't. A far cry from in fact -Brand New have never sounded this good. From a rare outing of 'Brothers' to old album highlight 'Sowing Season', they are clearly on form and grateful for the opportunity to play a smaller, more intimate show.Before starting a poignant solo closer of 'Soco Amaretto Lime', Lacey tells a story of his impending 37th birthday, his new wife and stepson and how he can no longer find anything in one of his bands most popular songs to relate to anymore. "I miss the nativity of youth he says, because being young is great. But being older is great too."
It's a sentiment that rings true in front of fans who have clearly grown with this band, and almost a relief to hear after observing the suspiciously sedate audience. Here, on a monday night, it's validation that it's okay to take an evening off of being responsible to be a teenager again for one evening. On the cusp of releasing their fifth album, maybe adulthood is finally looming for one of our childhood bands.