Lower Than Atlantis – Leeds Uni – 08.12.15
As we arrive at Leeds Beckett uni we are greeted with a line full of frozen but excited teens in checked shirts, denim jackets, Beanie hats and Nikes, as you would expect to see in a line at any Lower Than Atlantis headline show. This tour will likely be the last for LTA for some time until a new album surfaces, so it’s hardly a surprise to see so many people down to the venue to catch a glimpse of LTA in full flow before they go into hiding.
There is a pretty large early turn out for tonight’s show so it’s no wonder As It Is (8) hit the stage flying. We’re not quite sure what the pop punks have had to drink before tonight’s show, but we sure as hell want some! These guys have come out to the stage bouncing off the walls from the very start.
The set doesn’t slow down either as frontman Patty Walters is constantly in the face of the crowd telling them to sing up when he’s not bouncing off the stage like he’s on a mini trampoline busting out some moves in the air. “The last time we was in Leeds we was at Leeds festival, it’s good to be back!” Based on the crowd’s reaction for these guys, it’s mutual!
‘Can’t save myself’ has the crowd singing out loud to the intro and clapping in the breakdown, producing one of the highlights of the set. The Brighton lads remind us of a UK version of Set It Off, full of bouncy upbeat pop punk tunes, and a stage presence to match live. As you would expect the set ends with crowd surfers high fiving the frontman who’s grinning from ear to ear. Fortunately, it won’t be long before As It Is are back on the road, (supporting Sleeping With Sirens on their UK tour) so you can expect a lot of new fans won over tonight, including us, heading down to catch them again!
Unfortunately the same can’t be said about Moose blood (6) tonight who are more to the point, they sound great live but lack character and enthusiasm, especially to say they are main support and have quite a few fans out tonight. The Kent quartet take a more steady approach to their set, and it does feel like a step down in the pace of the show tonight, but none the less the guys get a great reception.
Frontman Eddy Brewerton seems sluggish and doesn’t look like he’s having quite the fun you would expect, however he does sound strong vocally throughout the set and in particularly ‘Gum’, as he holds together the verse which progresses into a big chorus full of riffs and backing vocals which sounds great! The set closes with ‘Boston’, which seems to step the set up a little too late, but leaves the crowd singing along loudly, before the lads leave the stage to applause. A pretty good performance but we think Moose Blood could be capable of much more.
The excitement grows and the room is packed tight as everyone awaits Mike Duce and co. to take the stage. A large white curtain has been pulled up at the stage front, the lights drop, and a silhouette of the frontman is projected onto the curtain as the band kick off the show with their new hit ‘Get Over It’. The verse progresses into an explosion of Co2 Cannons blasting out as the curtains drop to the full throttle chorus, exposing Lower Than Atlantis (9) standing tall backed by some powerful lighting flashing along to the beat of drummer Eddy Thrower, who sits so high on a platform at the back of the stage you can barely see him!
It looks as though LTA have gone all out for production with the Co2 canons, smoke, and lighting rig to bring the party to Leeds tonight as they see out their most recent successful self titled album. ‘Criminal’ and ‘Emily’ follow leaving the crowd jumping and singing along to the infectious choruses along with the frontman who’s taking no prisoners tonight as he urges the crowd to get involved. “I wanna see you on your feet!” screams the frontman leading into the golden oldie ‘(Motor) Way Of Life’, and the crowd don’t disappoint as they bounce high off the ground in sync with the band across the stage.
The older tracks go down great, but tonight, new material from the recent self titled album dominates the setlist, and the crowd here are well into it. ‘Live Slow Die Old’ is the perfect example that these guys have pulled a few new fans in as the newer material kicks off a little more than that from a couple of albums ago. The band look solid as ever on stage providing little error from song to song. Lead and bass guitarists Ben Sansom and Dec Hart don’t put a foot wrong, even with their well-rehearsed synchronised pogoing along to their bouncy riffs. Drummer Eddy Thrower proves his worth as one of the best drummers around at the moment in a solid performance all around for the epic ‘Love Someone Else’.
As ever Mike Duce is on top form making everyone laugh in between songs not letting anyone’s attention from the stage drop for a second, and it’s pretty entertaining. A bit of banter ends with the “Yorkshire” chant which Mike quickly puts to an end asking “what happened to the LTA chant everyone use to do?”. Without hesitation the Leeds crowd are chanting LTA back to the band on stage, and Mike decides to record it to put somewhere on the next album!
The set progresses with a stripped back version of ‘Deadliest Catch’ from Mike Duce and his acoustic guitar, backed vocally by the crowd so heavily you can barely hear him singing. While things have calmed down briefly, the frontman takes a moment to tell a story (of how they nicked eddy from another band, and had Dec fill in for Ben’s brother on bass guitar, to later become a permanent member of the band), before wishing Dec a happy birthday as a cake is brought out onto the stage and have the crowd sing happy birthday to the LTA bassist.
Back to business with the fantastic ‘Words Don’t Come So Easily’ which is the highlight of the set with a solid vocal performance from Mike, and a seamless performance all around by the band. An encore of ‘English kids in America’ and the frantic ‘Here we go’ sees out the night in top form leaving the crowd begging for more after a breath-taking show.
Unfortunately it’s likely to be a little while until LTA are back on this stage, but after raising the bar so highly this year with both the new album and their live performances, we have high expectations of these guys now which we’re hopeful they can live up to and climb up the charts and festival bills in the near future! But for now, this was the perfect way to close the year, and the album cycle. Well played Lower Than Atlantis! Don’t leave us hanging too long.
Photography – Danny Peart Photography