Photo: Olga Bas
The nightcap to a heady weekend of live action in Leeds sees the chart topping trio White Lies playing at the Leeds Metropolitan Union. For a band who have recently seen shows in London and Manchester upgraded to larger venues due to popular demand, this is a relatively intimate show. The sell-out crowd are manning the bar lubricating their chords for the forthcoming headliners, however first up are School of Seven Bells.
The Brooklyn based trio beguile the collected audience with their ethereal take on the so hot right now shoegaze. Unfortunately playing to blank stares and muted applause the likes of 'Half Asleep' and 'My Cabal' were both charming and show a great fission between the Deheza sisters vocals and Ben Curtis' expansive and intricate guitar work. With a better crowd to work with and a more focused set they will win the fans they deserve.
In front of a crowd reminiscent of a Top Gear focus group, White Lies take to the softly lit stage and begin ploughing the hits. 'Fairwell To The Fairground' and 'Lose My Life' are seen off early with the latters refrain of "Let's grow old together and die at the same time" being met with blanket repetition from the fans. The band formerly known as Fear Of Flying have obviously been embraced by the commercially beneficial lad-rock market but quite how is a mystery. To all intents and purposes they are a very camp and humourless band. Kaiser Chiefs do well with that demographic as they are fun, The Enemy tap into the small town ennui, Kasabian are the sound of a beery Saturday night, so what are White Lies? Their songs are all ham-fisted odes to death and despair. Presumably people aren't listening to the lyrics and instead falling for the admittedly catchy hooks. It's probably for the best as you soon realise that not a single line in any White Lies songs means a thing. They do have the tunes though and as 'Death' brings the show, and indeed the whole weekend, to a close, it would be churlish to deny the crowd and the fans their shallow moment.