Brand New – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

I was lucky enough to catch Brand New on the Finch tour last year, but having the chance to see them headline was just too good an opportunity to miss. With the whole UK tour sold out, Brand New really are riding on the crest of a wave with their Morrisey-for-the-21st century lyrics and reviews which are as complimentary as you will find. Throw in the fact that these Long Islanders are genuinely humble and affable chaps and you can see why so many people want a piece of them.

I didn’t really see enough of MONEEN to give them a score but despite all the energy and flailing dreds they had on stage, to me they came across as the same as any other post-whatchamacallit band. Moneen were pleasant enough to listen to and watch, but there was nothing to make me even consider buying a CD. And was it me, or did the set seem extremely short? (n/a)

I had high hopes for STRAYLIGHT RUN after hearing the MP3s they had already released, but I was left very disappointed. Straylight should be a great band, after all the drummer is a fantastic musician and John Nolan a very talented songwriter, but there’s still something lacking in the live department. Maybe it was an off night but Michelle Nolan’s vocals were badly mixed and the keyboards added very little. When John and Michelle traded places and swapped instruments, it confused me more – Michelle blatantly cannot play guitar, seemingly struggling to even strum repeated G and C chords. Having said that, ‘Mistakes We Knew We Were Making’ is a fantastic song and as the band develop in a live setting I’m sure their performance will match their obvious recorded talents. (6)

But the sold-out Cockpit is here to say one band – BRAND NEW. From the opening whispers of ‘Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t’, the crowd sing back every word. The band seem genuinely shocked and the longer the set goes on the more the foursome come out of their shells. Vin twists and swirls throwing his guitar over his shoulder and goading fans to sing louder; Brian batters his kit throughout, but it’s Jesse Lacey who everyone is fixed on. A shy and reasonably retiring guy, like many of the frontmen Brand New are influenced by, such as Radiohead and Coldplay, the singer seems ill at ease with the adulation. But with a set of songs arguably as good as any band at the moment, and an album having sold 500,000 copies, Jesse better get used to it. ‘Logan To Governmnet Centre’ sounds fantastic, ‘Tautou’ is atmospheric and ‘Guernica’ so good anyone who can relate to the track undoubtedly got goosebumps. But it’s the ability to mix songs like ‘The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot’ with the ferocity of ‘Seventy Times Seven’ which showcases their talent; the latter provoking a mass of pogoing teens screaming the spoken word breakdown. Concluding with ‘Soco Amaretto Lime’ and ‘Sic Transit Gloria’, both of which have the crowd shouting Jesse down, the emo kids in attendance leave sweaty and smiling. The mainstream press is already beginning to take note. World demonation will surely follow. (9)


Set list:

Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t
Mix Tape
I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light
Jaws theme swimming
Jude Law and a Semester Abroad
Logan to Government Center
The boy who blocked his Own Shot
The Quiet Things That No-One ever Knows
Seventy times Seven
Soco Ameretto Lime
Sic Transit Gloria