Guest Reviewer: Matt Dickinson
One of the finest ways to round off a bank holiday weekend is with some live music, and luckily the rearranged date for the Man Overboard UK tour fell on Monday in Leeds. This was intially meant to be in October last year, however injury meant that the band had to pull out. We didn’t make it in time for German pop-punk outfit smile and burn – but by all accounts they were a good start. The remaining support was up and coming UK bands Roam and Moose Blood – bands that have had a good year or so already and are clearly meant for bigger things.
We made it to the key club with minutes to spare before Roam made their way to the stage. I’d seen them last year on the Neck Deep tour, but in terms of their live performance this was a cut above. The crowd were absolutely pumped for their set and for a band that’s not even the main support the crowd was rowdy, a sign that things are going from strength to strength for Roam. Opening with ‘Warning Sign’ their set was energetic and well pulled off, with a hyped crowd and sounding tight. ‘Head Rush’ the closing song of the set was a personal highlight and got the best reaction from a packed crowd.
Moose Blood were next up, a band I’ve seen a few times over the last year or so and have genuinely got better every time. Opening with ‘Bukowski’ they played a selection of tracks from debut album I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time to a crowd that although less rowdy than the Roam set, was still up for it and sang back to pretty much every song. This band just look like they’ve grown in confidence and like they’re the real deal. I’ll make no secret that I am a huge Moose Blood fan and songs like ‘I Hope You’re Miserable’ and ‘Pups’ sound spot on now they’ve got used to them being in the set. Closing with ‘Boston’ this was a set that made you want to see them again.
Finally we got to Man Overboard, the New Jersey defenders of pop punk. One thing I noticed was that the crowd had definitely thinned for their set. Whether that’s because it was a little later when they hit the stage I’m not sure. I’ve been a fan of this band for quite some time, but it had been a while since I caught them headlining (seems that way anyway).
Opening up with ‘Real Talk’ Man Overboard played a set that spanned the various albums and EPs that they have released over the past few years. One refreshing change, was that even though the band has a clear place in it’s heart for Leeds, they were still focused on firing through their set with minimal interaction – in fairness I like it when that happens sometimes, though I have to say I was a bit out of practice with some of the songs.
High points of the set for me were ‘Love Your Friends, Die Laughing’; ‘Rare’ and ‘I Ate My Gluestick’. Man Overboard were tight and played a solid set that would have appealed to a lot of different fans, I guess I just need to listen to bands a bit more in preparation!
For me it was an 8/10 gig, with Moose Blood being the highlight of the night for me!
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