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Tall Ships - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - 15th October 2012 (Live Review)

Monday, 22 October 2012 Written by Ben Bland
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It seems like some time since Tall Ships turned up on the scene, but then three years or so is a long time in music. Those who were fortunate enough to encounter the Falmouth trio early on their ascent have been waiting patiently for a full-length album and, last week, 'Everything Touching' delivered in spades. Now, unimportant though it may seem for some, the band is touring the UK and, whisper it, getting big crowds in the like of Londonís XOYO and the fabled Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.

ImageOf course, modest as they are, Tall Ships are more surprised than anyone. A few days prior to this Leeds show, Liars turned up and the place was only two-third full. By the time Tall Ships arrive on stage tonight, the place is pretty much packed. In fact enough punters have turned up early for local support Beware Wolf to get a sizeable crowd for their slightly too refined Biffy-esque post-hardcore. There are times when they threaten to break into the sort of ludicrously brilliant noise fests that should have made yourcodenameis:milo the biggest band in the world, but there are also moments when the vocals sound gratingly Americanised and the riffs sound like the sort of thing you have heard hundreds of times before. Having said that, the band does have a certain charm and, judging from their nervous reaction to applause from the crowd, they have a way to go. Donít rule out them becoming something special in the next few years.

Donít expect the same thing from Dad Rocks! The solo project of Snśvar NjŠll Albertsson from Midas, this is alt-folk at its most awkward and, sadly, irritating. Snśvar is joined on stage by a double bass player and an embarrassed looking man (whose only responsibility is to do the odd harmony vocal and wander around looking slightly like heís dropped a five pound note), but the performance is really all his. He has a nice rapport with the crowd and is clearly a decent stage presence but unfortunately the songs are full of such painfully unfunny and badly rhymed lyrics that it drives several onlookers to rapid pint consumption and thus to the bar. Others seemingly enjoy, but these ears cannot find many redeeming features.

Tall Ships are not quite on top form themselves. They seem a little tired and the mix is a little drum heavy but, after a slightly underwhelming couple of introductory numbers, things really get going. A mid-set performance of album highlight 'Oscar' and a massive sing-along to 'Vessels' (from the bandís debut EP) seem to prompt the trio into having a bit more fun. As a result the brilliant airing of epic album closer 'Murmurations' is truly blissful and, despite the surprising absence of 'Books' from the setlist, everyone seems very much content when they leave the venue. When the new album is a bit more familiar to their fanbase it is potentially scary to think how rapturous this bandís live shows will get when the likes of 'Phosphorescence' become as well-known as EP cuts like 'Chemistry'. We are witnessing big things.

'Everything Touching', the debut LP from Tall Ships, is out now via Big Scary Monsters & Blood and Biscuits. The band are still on tour around the UK.

Tall Ships UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon October 22nd 2012 - London XOYO, London
Tue October 23rd 2012 - Bodega Social, Nottingham

Click Here to Compare & Buy Tall Ships Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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