The promise of this evening is one we’ve been excited about since the last time Eagulls rolled into town in March, though since then they’ve toured the world and played a multitude of festivals. To begin with there is the small matter of a couple of support bands to attend to.
First up local lads High Tide 15:47. However, by the time we arrive we only have the opportunity to catch the tail end of their set, we’re pleasantly surprised and we shall endeavour to catch them in full in the not so distant future.
Next up though are fellow Leeds natives, Autobahn who were in support last time as well. Tonight, as last time, they don't disappoint. On the face of it, with a name like Autobahn our minds immediately jump to Kraftwerk, but the German name is where the similarities end.
Straight out of the blocks they stamp their authority all over the proceedings, lead singer Craig Johnson bouncing around the stage baiting the crowd. They are a true powerhouse of a punk band, reminiscent of early Wire there’s a real ferocity to the band's delivery, a real angst. To be wholly honest they’re the perfect support band for Eagulls and by the time they leave the stage the crowd is buzzing.
As the lights are dimmed and the projector is started, the crowd chant and the band's opening music plays. Through the darkness they emerge. Wasting no time in lifting the roof, George Mitchell’s ever-passionate vocals echo out through the venue. It's immediate, it's mind blowing, these guys are the perfect live band, blasting through the openers as the over-excited crowd throw themselves in to each other.
Eagull's frequent touring and playing live undoubtedly shows, they’re tighter than any other band around at the moment. By the time ‘Nerve Endings’ gets an airing, the whole venue is awash with flying bodies; the sold out crowd enjoying every second of the set. Mitchell’s visceral delivery intimidates as he moves ever closer to the crowd.
We’re consumed by the intensity of the band like overly excited teenagers, as they work through tracks off their self-titled debut. What we really notice though, is how far these guys have come from first seeing them over three years ago, they’ve honed this huge sound and these awesome walls of noise. Tracks like ‘Fester / Blister’ stand out above others, the eviscerating guitar that hits you is nothing short of face melting. It also has a slightly different element to it, whilst maintaining the intensity.
The most striking thing about Eagulls though is the heart and the honesty of their work. Often described as a band for the realists they’re not afraid to tell it like it is. There are far too many bands that are willing to sugar coat life and create music for the sake of being cool, Eagulls shun ideology in favour of unabashed, no-holds barred honesty.
This evening goes some way in restoring our belief in real British music as Eagulls close out what has been an emphatic set, ending with the utterly awesome ‘Possessed’. We cannot hold them in any higher regard, so few bands around right now are this good and those that are all seem to be emerging from the same area.
Are these five guys going to inspire a generation? Only time will tell but we certainly think they have the potential to.