My Awesome Compilation – Leeds Packhorse

By paul

The Packhorse in Leeds is a strange little venue. Little being the operative word. If you’ve never been before, it’s a room above a small pub – a room which is literally no bigger than a bedroom. 50 people capacity probably at a push, although remarkably it’s not that sweaty because of some fantastic strategically placed fans above our heads. For me there aren’t many better ways to spend your Saturday night than to watch My Awesome Compilation in full swing, especially in a venue as ‘intimate’ as this.

There were five bands on the bill this evening and having arrived just in time for the beginning, the first band on show are mightily impressive. Sadly I didn’t actually find out who they were, but their bowel-shakingly good hardcore was as tight as I’ve seen in recent months. It’s not usually my thing, but with screaming vocals over some ear-shredding riffs, they were damn good.

The next band I missed in favour of propping up the bar, but I did return for Hartlepool’s post-hardcore favourites MY FAVOURITE CO-PILOT, a band whom I’ve heard so many good things. Before tonight I hadn’t heard a single song but the usual comparisons to the likes of Thursday, Taking Back Sunday and Finch had been banded about so I was looking forward to seeing what they could do. Thankfully they didn’t disappoint, even if they don’t sound anything like the aforementioned bands. There’s technical ability, shouting, crunching guitars and a lot of melody thrown in for good measure. It’s all really good stuff and I was impressed enough to part with my hard earned ΒΆΕ“6 for a copy of their album. I’ll be seeing them twice in two nights in April and I’d heartily recommend you check them out too. (8)

A bizarre Dutch band followed up next, complete with two drummers and the one singer/guitarist. God knows what they’d been smoking (joke…) but it certainly wasn’t my cup of tea, coming across like The Strokes but without the attitude. And of course with two drummers. I think their name was Pfaff or something similar…let’s just say it wasn’t particularly memorable and I was chuffed when the set was finished. I’d given up listening half way through so it would be unfair of me to score them.

This was only the third time I’d seen MY AWESOME COMPILATION and they get better each time. This is a band that, quite simply, blow me away. With the most bittersweet gorgeous melodies around, their emo sensibilities are quite rightly attracting the sort of attention that they should demand. A short six song set is exciting and exhilirating, but as a band the progresion they have made in the last few months has been noticeable. Drummer Andy is becoming increasingly flashy behind his kit, standing up, pulling faces and hitting the drums harder than before. Darius is a bundle of energy and Chris, fuck-up aside on ‘Wish You Well’, is note perfect despite my attempts to get him rat-arsed. Even Woody seems more at ease at his keyboards and I’m sure the new songs will get him involved in proceedings even more. But of course it’s the songs that matter most, even if MAC are aesthetically pleasing. ‘Our Lives:The Sequel’ is massive, ‘The Miracle Mile’ is quite simply one of my favourite songs ever and newie ‘Wish You Well’, which was dedicated to me (cheers guys), is quickly becoming a favourite. Despite being an emo band by nature, the songs are enriched with sweet melodies; the dual vocals sugar-coating the spikey guitars. MAC are sublime and the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet. One day they will get everything they ever wish for, it’s just simply a matter of when.(9)

The future is really bright for MAC and I doubt I will see them in a venue so small again. But seriously look out for the Co-Pilot chaps. A very good band, and now I recognise the songs, I’ll be very interested to hear more.