The Bled – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

The beginning of this review is probably the most appropriate place to comment on the most overbearing presence at this gig: the haircut(s). The amount of kids at this gig who had spent so long in the mirror that they would do well as part-time drag queens was hilarious.

The room was pretty much full by the time Fall Of Troy appeared and those who arrived late will surely have been cursing themselves. An awesome mix of largely instrumental atmospheric screamo/post-rock greeted the ears of the fringed and it was fairly impressive. Vocals were weak and the singer/guitarist looked uncomfortable when he was using his voice (I?m not a fan of the post-rock clichโ€š of singers moving away from the mic to draw a weaker sound as they sing) at the same time as playing, but his solo work was top-notch and as tight as could be asked for. The crowd responded somewhere between politely and enthusiastically and indicated that they were somewhat pleasantly surprised even if most kids didn?t seem to be here for them. Their indier sound suits them and there is a huge amount of noise generated between the 3 guys. Most enjoyable. 7.5/10

After bumping into one or two familiar faces in the break I took up a closer position for Fear Before the March of Flames and watched them launch into a cacophony of angular aggression which eradicated any hint of apprehension you might have felt about their performance. Personally, it?s a bit too off-key for my liking and despite it being very similar to the CD in terms of their performance, there wasn?t too much here to grab you by the balls here in terms of the delivery. Certainly not a bad performance; far from it in fact, but it?s missing a little something and backing vocals were definitely not up to par when compared to the aural assault coming from the lead. Comme ci, comme ca. 6/10

And so, the time had come for those perfectly aligned black haircuts to start moving a little. The Bled appeared on-stage to a roaring reception and front-man The Artist Formerly Known As Prince got things underway in sterling fashion. Singalong crowd favourites such as My Assassin and Daylight Bombings were belted out and, just for a moment, the kids forgot their image and sung along with all their hearts. A few weedy retards pretending to be hardcore and windmilling into anyone who didn?t move couldn?t spoil this, though, and The Bled did themselves no harm here at all. Props to the singer to involving the crowd at every opportunity (including his fishing reel impression with the microphone ? his casting was poor, though) but telling the same AIDS jokes as you have done earlier in the tour can?t have impressed anyone who?d been to one of the two previous dates. Still, they?re not comedians and I?m just being picky. I?m fairly ill at the moment but I still managed to have fun here so it can?t have been too bad at all. 7/10