The Key Club, Leeds – hosting headliners Sounds Like A Storm – 12.04.19
Since their admirably successful campaign competing in the Futuresound promoted ‘Leeds Emerging’ event of 2018, Leeds based rock band Sounds Like A Storm have shown no signs of altering their course to achieve the recognition they deserve for all of their limitless hard work, rehearsing, writing and promoting under the tutelage of new manager Stephen Mcmahon. Winning Emerging saw SLAS grace the BBC Main Stages at Leeds & Reading Festivals preceding the likes of festival titans Bring Me The Horizon and Wolf Alice, with nothing to lose the experience has bolstered their stage confidence and broadened their future musical horizons – although briefly talking with members of the band before performing their own headline gig at The Key Club, Leeds – there was a definite sense of trepidation, not entirely uncommon in a sold-out hometown gig where it seemed they had everything to gain.
In the dimly lit blackened room the ambience charged with the energy and spirit of The Prodigy firing out of the loudspeakers, the crowd – a fairly disparate audience – jostled for stage front supremacy as the air thickened with anticipation for a band that the majority already had a great affliction for, together with those keen to know all about their demur. Enter Stage, ensued with the customary introduction which was pure pantomime, engaging and always controversial. Clad in a black leather trench coat, and zebra stripe pin trousers, frontman Sennen Ludman immediately sought to seducing the onlookers with his trademark animation, militant poise, eyes piercing through oversized shades with focus and attack.
Sharply into the first set with three songs ‘Mould You’, ‘Closer’ and the Orwellian single ‘Welcome To The Real World’, the more enthusiastic in the crowd caused mayhem in the pit. The crunchy sound complimented by Harry Le Masurier’s crafting on the sound desk was pretty much on point, delivering the anarchic shock-delivery of ‘Law and Order’ with Ludman’s voice in full-throttle delivering the message of “bringing down the nation”.
Ludman’s departure from the stage and into the grabbing arms of the crowd brought an intermission of sorts, a change of tempo and a chance for respite during a electro acoustic song, the obligatory audience participation of hand clapping, and the primal chanting of “Yorkshire” before a reworking of the slower paced ‘God’ which has less resonance than newer works that recall the bands experiences of lives and loves among the inner-city belt – newer songs that are a shift-of-gear where you can hear the beginnings of a much more rounded and complete sound, evident on ‘Tell Me How You Like It’.
Despite the copious volume of liquid on the floor and the sweat drenched walls, the Key Club held its own and delivered on excellence with sound and an atmospheric lighting arrangement throughout, orchestrated by rising star Lucas Tripp.
By way of an encore SLAS returned to the stage for the birthing of their latest single ‘Corker’, an up-tempo ode to a Yorkshire “lass”, which was well received by a recharged crowd for a final clash, a confetti canon, dramatic strobe lighting and probably the finest song and performance of the evening, signalling again the bands positive direction and strength of song writing.
Recommended listening ‘Corker’ – listen here
Lighting Design – Lucas Tripp
Sound – Harry Le Masurier
Thanks to Sounds Like A Storm & Stephen Mcmahon
All words and photos © James A Mumby Photography