Rothschild - The Key Club, Leeds - 22/3/19

News travels fast. It’s not long before we’re hearing that local phenomenon Nova Hands are grid-locked on the dreaded M1, pulling out of their slot as first support of the night. Drat. But alas, the show must go on and the responsibility of warming up the crowd falls into the hands of Dead Extras, an outwardly promising four piece doing the rounds.

Watching them on stage, it’s impossible to ignore how much charisma Dead Extras have got going on, and it seems impossible for them to ignore it too. Wide-eyed and thrusting themselves into the crowd, from the get-go you can tell these guys think a lot of themselves. And rightfully so, their proto-metal fusion seems to hold all the raw magnetism it takes to be throwing mattresses out of windows in a few years’ time, true Moon style. Aside from a few technical difficulties that the first support often gets, there’s little to complain about with an opener as powerful as these, their reputation as one of the best Leeds has to offer justly earned.

With an initial support as rock-solid as that it can often be difficult to match, and it often requires bringing out the big guns to stand any chance of competing. Technically Adore//Repel are untouchable from kick-off, their sound dressed up to kill, but it quickly becomes apparent that the need for a mic is most of the time unwarranted. Apart from what seems like the odd repeated phrase you’d find in the bridge of most post-hardcore records, there’s little else lyrically on show here; even beautifully orchestrated intros and instrumentals get a little tiring when they last four and a half minutes, the majority of the set feeling more like a jam session at band practice than something for an audience.

Headliners Rothschild are swiftly greeted with shouts of ‘play something dirty!’ from a crowd that seems to know them well, their fanbase appearing to have grown tenfold since the last time we’d seen them in action. The heaviest of the bunch, this is not what you’d listen to as a polite mental refresher, but if you’re looking for unadulterated wrath of sorts- this is it. Elements that seem so indisputably jarring ultimately come together; conflicts of sound work coherently in an equally as astonishing nature as that of the band itself. Admittedly, Bellamy-esque vocals in stark contrast with rougher segments of noise can be a little startling at times, but it’s this contrast that makes them so noteworthy. That, and of course an unusual rendition of Kanye’s Black Skinhead, something that initially feels so wrong it’s possibly right. Perhaps it’s the natural aggression of the song that makes it so, or perhaps it really is just too easy to be blindsided by the curious nature of it all. Regardless, the leading slot was not wasted on these guys, their first headline gig showing they really are a true force to be reckoned with.

Photos by Nathan Robinson (Apertunes)

Words by Abi Whistance