No Devotion – The Key Club – Leeds – 01/10/15.
A half full Key Club isn’t doing No Devotion (8) much justice tonight in Leeds, as based on their recent release of their debut album ‘Permanence’, which on the night was sitting at no. 10 in the UK rock chart unknown to the band, is a truly remarkable album passionately written, fueled with emotion, frustration, heartbreak and betrayal. But tonight isn’t about dwelling on the hard times, it’s about celebrating the future. Tonight marks the beginning of a new chapter for these talented musicians, and those who have turned up are to be treated to a set full of powerful live music in this intimate venue.
By the time No Devotion take to the stage the room has filled up a little more, and excitement floods across the crowd as the electronically charged intro rings out as the album opener ‘Break’ kicks the show off smoothly. The powerful riff of ‘Addition’ follows closely and really turns things up a notch. Front-man Geoff Rickly is on top form tonight vocally from the very start but seems to be withholding himself from getting over excited and climbing over the crowd too often, which we witnessed a month ago when the band took on the Pit stage at Leeds festival. He can’t be blamed however as the front-man has just been recovering after being poisoned just last week at a show in Germany, and also the size of the stage tonight is tiny for such a large band who are even noticeably missing a member in guitarist Mike Lewis.
However even with a man down, The supergroup plough on through the early single ‘eyeshadow’ and the grungy guitar driven ‘I Want To Be Your God’ which both sound fantastic live, and have the crowd singing and clapping along. As you would expect from hearing the album, the crowd isn’t as lively as that of their previous bands with circle pits and crowd surfers, they are more appreciative of the music and seem to be taking every note in whilst they have their eyes glued firmly to the stage.
‘Only Thing’ which is a B-side to the single ’10,000 Summers’ is dropped into a set dominated by songs from the new album ‘Permanence’, which is a nice surprise to everyone in the room as it mixes things up a bit. ‘10,000 Summers’ follows which is a little more familiar with the vocal crowd, and has them moving a little more as the front-man persuasively gets them all involved again.
The set progresses with the likes of ‘Night Drive’ and ‘Death Rattle’, which Rickly explains after is an instrumental written by the band before he was involved about the hard times they went through together which saw the end of their previous band Lostprophets, and therefore felt it should remain that way leaving him reluctant to write lyrics for the song. It’s short, but very overwhelming, and it demonstrates how tight musically this band really is as it sounds even better live as it does recorded on the album.
An hour of gripping music comes to a close with the uplifting hit ‘Stay’, and the penultimate song ‘Permanent Sunlight’ which is one of the bands only songs providing an upbeat happier bouncy sound, and positively written lyrics leaving things on a high note. This is a song which proves this band doesn’t just write about their struggles, and with such a positive reception across the UK, they are bound to have much more material written in the near future like it as the smiles are back on this group of musicians faces after such a long time which is what everyone here wanted to see more than anything tonight.
‘Grand Central’ finalizes the set calming the crowd back down through seven minutes of music displaying a bit of everything we have herd tonight mixed into one song, from the mighty vocals and guitar lines, to the pounding drums and electronics. A fantastic show by a band that are just finding their feet, and you have to ask yourself; once they start running, who can catch them?
Check out the full set of live photos from this show here!
Review & Photography – Danny Peart Photography