There are few bands creating as much noise (both figuratively and literally) at the moment as Marmozets and few garnering as much critical acclaim as Lonely The Brave, so as soon as this double-header was announced in Rock City’s basement, we knew we had to go along and see what all the fuss was about!
First on were Leeds newcomers Allusondrugs, joining the tour fresh off the back of their debut self titled EP. Channelling grunge like it happened yesterday, the band provided a raucous opening to an eclectic bill, with each member of the five-piece providing what was seemingly a different interpretation of each stage in Kurt Cobain’s career. It wasn’t clean and it wasn’t pretty, but Allusondrugs certainly left an impression.
Marmozets are everywhere at the minute: radio loves them, the press loves them, fans clearly adore them (see the album reaching number 25 in the UK album chart), and this was displayed in the reaction to their arrival on stage. ‘Born Young and Free’ immediately kicked the crowd into gear with its repeated chant of “We’re born young and free”. Through the set, Becca McIntyre provided an electric presence, barely standing still, never missing a beat and the band as a whole demonstrating how relentless touring can turn you into one of the most exciting prospects on the live circuit.
Prior to current radio staple ‘Captivate You’, guitarist Sam McIntyre invited the room to “up it up”, much to the amusement of his bandmates and the members of the crowd, also proving to be one of many highlights in Marmozets’ whirlwind set. Closing on a one/two of a rapturous ‘Move, Shake, Hide’ and ‘Vibetech’ which saw frontwoman Becca make her way to the bar, Marmozets showed that although they’re a bit rough around the edges, a bit shouty, and a bit rowdy, their glowing reputation is deserved.
In stark contrast to Marmozets, Lonely The Brave are a curious band. They have a sound ready made for arenas and stadiums of the country, and appear to be the band chosen by the UK press destined to reach those heady heights, following in the footsteps of Biffy Clyro and more recently You Me at Six. However, they have had that cloud above their heads for almost two years now and with the release of The Day’s War, this is their first tour off the back of it.
Arriving onstage to a riotous reaction from the audience, ‘Call of Horses’ and ‘Victory Line’ ensured right from the beginning that their reputation as one of the UK’s premier live bands was immediately justified. Tracks like ‘Trick of the Light’ and current single ‘The Blue, The Green’ sounded truly massive in the tiny surrounds of Rock City’s basement room. Though two of the record’s weaker tracks, ‘Black Saucers’ and ‘Deserters’ came to the fore live, the band’s belief and love in their own material providing another admirable side to the performance. Closing on signature single ‘Backstreets’ the crowd woke up one final time (the two men stood beside me appeared to discover enlightenment, complete with tears by the end) and the night was finished off in style.
Lonely The Brave may get a lot of hype despite comparatively little output, but tonight justified it, and Marmozets too demonstrated why they are one of the front runners in the new wave of British bands creating a stir. As it stands, 2015 is theirs for the taking.