LIVE: Captives / Cutting Teeth / Values / Foxhaunt @ The Key Club, Leeds

By Gem Rogers

If ever there was a venue we feel like we should probably just move into permanently, Leeds favourite The Key Club is probably it (we’ll bring sleeping bags next time, OK?). Usually playing host to just about every rising band on the circuit from across the globe – we were last here for Aussies Stand Atlantic – tonight is an altogether more local affair as Leeds’ own Captives take over the venue for their ‘Ghost Like You’ EP release show.

There’s absolutely no less talent and promise on display than usual, though, as York five-piece Foxhaunt open the evening with a punchy, energetic half hour of alt rock. It’s a varied set with some gloriously chunky riffs and plenty of headbang moments – they might not be breaking any new ground (yet), but it’s a hugely enjoyable set, and it seems unlikely this will be the last we hear of this group.

The aggression (and volume) is ramped up some hefty notches for next band Values, whose melodic hardcore is reminiscent of Blood Youth with a dose of metalcore thrown in for good measure, and just as captivating. Their performance is passionate throughout – particularly recent single ‘Alone Again’ – and drenched in some impossibly satisfying gang vocals that are equal parts melodic and heavy, kicking off spirited reactions from the crowd.

It makes for a change in pace that is continued by hardcore punks Cutting Teeth, who are the human embodiment of a bucket of rage. They don’t have quite the same spark as the band they’ve followed, but are utterly relentless both in style and their pursuit of the movement that inevitably comes from the crowd; this is a lively barrage of noise, and the band are clearly having a huge amount of infectious fun as they take out their fury on every eardrum within a mile radius. It might be a small show, but a Saturday night mood has gradually taken over the now-busy room and the stage is well and truly set for headliners Captives.

It’s been seven months since the five-piece debuted with single ‘Ghost Like You’, releasing their EP of the same name the day before tonight’s celebratory release show. The five tracks display a maturity and consistency that makes it hard to believe it’s a debut release, and the band have already honed a distinctive, post-hardcore infused alt rock sound. Captives are clearly out to make a big impression, but all this polish wouldn’t amount to much if the live performance couldn’t live up to the huge sound they’ve captured on record.

Fortunately, that’s far from the case here. It’s a short but sweet set, with the focus rightfully on playing through the EP, but each track is injected with electricity and life that reverberates through the room, and proves that Captives are more than capable of living up to the highest of expectations. It might be a little too early for anyone to have memorised the lyrics to the majority of the songs, but for arena-filling singles ‘Signs’ and ‘Ghost Like You’, the sing-alongs are in full joyous force, while new track ‘Crashing Down’ is a pure powerhouse of riffs and soaring vocals. There’s little doubt by the end that the crowd could happily have heard all five tracks played twice over and loved every second, and indeed it’s hard not to wish that had happened – the EP may have only just been released, but a full length album can’t come soon enough, and there’s huge promise for what lies ahead.

There’s a special feeling about this show, representing the beginning of an exciting journey for a band who seem set to win hearts, and win them soon. With performances of this quality, Captives deserve every bit of attention that’s sure to come their way – one thing we can promise, this is a ride you won’t regret getting on.