The Get Up Kids – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

My favourite band in one of my favourite ‘local’ venues? Yes please. I approached this tour with a little trepidation because last August’s mini-tour, and in particular the Kingston show, ended up being one of my all-time favourite gigs. Pretty much nothing was going to compare to that show I turned up thinking ‘this is going to be good but not as great as Kingston’ and, y’know what, it almost, almost managed to do it.

I walked in to The Cockpit as THE XCERTS started playing. Andy has raved on about these boys for a while now and I’ve only ever heard them in passing, but after this performance I can see why he likes them so much. They don’t look much on stage, appearing quite awkward and aware barely anyone in the crowd is there to see them play. But I think they won a fair few people over. Frontman Murray Macleod looks a total bag of nerves between songs as his plaid shirt seemingly dwarfs him, but when he opens his mouth and he gets in the groove the band really impress. If I had one complaint it would be that the bass was too high in the mix and drowned out the guitars a little bit, but overall I was impressed. I’ll be checking them out further for sure. (7)

With such an extensive back catalogue to refer to THE GET UP KIDS are always going to have people say ‘play such and such’ and leave one or two disappointed. I’ve seen the band a few times now and the set lists haven’t really strayed from the classics, which, in truth, is exactly what you want when you see them. The crowd is noticeably older than at most shows and there are a great many beards in attendance – you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into some kind of face hair convention. Everywhere you turn there’s fuzz and some pretty impressive beards at that. It sums up the fact that while the band went away they don’t seem to have grabbed too many new fans – the venue, I’m told, is about 75% full, so the older fans have certainly managed to stick with the band throughout the hiatus.

I’d read other reviews that the band were sloppy, looked miserable and argued but there’s nothing of the sort on show in Leeds. Matt and Jim bounce off each other, there’s a few jokes aimed at band members (and the crowd). They once again look genuinely pleased to be on stage. The hits rain down all night – ‘Holiday’, ‘Don’t Hate Me’, ‘No Love’, ‘Red Letter Day’…they’re all present and correct. A couple of songs from ‘Simple Science’ get an airing (and go over the heads of most people) and there’s a completely new song, sung by Jim, too. There’s a good mix of songs, mainly from ‘STWHA’ but a splattering from ‘Four Minute Mile’ too. ‘Overdue’, ‘Walking on a Wire’ and ‘Campire Kansas’ go down well too, while ‘Beer For Breakfast’ and ‘Close To Me’ make up the encore.

The band will be back in August for festivals and two warm-up shows, a new album follows in the Spring. The kids are most certainly still alright…(9)