Counterfeit – The Key Club, Leeds – 18.4.17
Counterfeit are a British punk band formed by frontman Jamie Campbell Bower, mostly recognised for his acting and modelling, he’s proved himself to be even more talented musically. The band is formed of Bower and two other members of the former Darling Buds; guitarist Tristan Marmount and bassist Roland Johnson. They have also taken on a third guitarist, Jamie’s brother Sam Bower, and drummer Jimmy Craig.
After the support bands had finished, the small crowd were getting restless waiting for Counterfeit to come on stage. After a short wait and the band’s sound technician double checking all the instruments and mics the filler music finally ceased. The lights all switched off and the room was black, Snoop Dogg’s Smoke Weed Everyday began to play, the tension broke and the room laughed. The band walked on stage and the music stopped.
They opened up with Washed Out with no introduction, the heavy guitar and Jamie’s gruff vocals filled the room. The crowd began to dance as the first song broke out. It wasn’t the biggest of crowd’s or venues but everyone had just as much fun despite this. They followed up with As Yet Untitled, Addiction and Romeo. They are a punk band but they definitely sound like a contemporary punk band, they’re heavy in a way that sound’s influenced by other genres, the sound does not come across like it was inspired by classic punk from the 70’s and 80s. Nor does their aesthetic on stage, dressed in all black they had a contemporary alternative rock look.
But there was a special moment at this small venue, Jamie climbed down from the stage with his mic stand and guitar and entered the centre of the crowd, everyone formed a wide circle around him respectably giving him plenty of space. He began to tell the audience the statistics of male suicide and raise awareness of the charity they are working alongside CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). He then began to speak about their song Letter to the Lost and that it was written about a friend who took his own life, it was a very intense and personal moment that was shared in the room. I’m sure this song means a lot to many of Counterfeit’s fans, as I know for me it really hits home so to have Jamie join the crowd to talk about this before playing was special. He stayed in the crowd for the whole song and asked everyone to join in with the vocals. The song was played a lot softer in comparison to the rest of their set, Jamie was singing deeply from the heart as I’m sure a lot of the audience were. It was a moment that when ending left an impact on the mood of the room, personally I was almost in tears at the raw emotion that was shared. Jamie thanked everyone and climbed back on stage.
The atmosphere quickly changed as the band went back into playing heavy, they played Family Suicide, it was a lot of shouting, sweat and swearing. Their energy on stage was nothing but punk. They moved around the stage a lot, engaged with the audience and played insanely heavy. The recorded album Together We Are Stronger is heavy anyway, but like almost all recordings its clean and crisp. Their live performance was definitely not, they played in a true punk band nature, loud and dirty. The songs off the album sounded even better live as the energy and emotion in every song was portrayed, Jamie’s vocals sounded rougher live which complimented the heaviness of the set and sounded great. Jamie came into the crowd for Letter to the Lost but that wasn’t the only time, he came into the crowd with his guitar and mic again and played extremely heavy and started a mini mosh pit.
They left the stage but quickly came back on for an encore, finishing off with For the Thrill of It and Enough which seemed the perfect way to end their set as it left the room full of energy. Between the songs Jamie thanked the audience for their support and said that without them Counterfeit would not be here.
Review & Photos – Holly Elizabeth