The Cockpit, Leeds, December 1st 2009 Although it was billed as the Triple Threat tour, this show was only ever gonna be about two things: Blakfish and Gay For Johnny Depp. Sure, Outcry Collective were really good, with their crunchy, riff-heavy take on the Bronx’s much-imitated hardcore sound, but they couldn’t help being overshadowed by two of the best and most intense live bands around. I suppose I shouldn’t go any further without giving a mention to the crowd: I’m sorry, Leeds, but you were one of the most boring groups of people I’ve ever stood in a dark room with. Shows like this are made for getting involved, not standing at the back with your arms folded, so it was disappointed to see the crowd spread pretty thin for Gay For Johnny Depp’s set, with less than fifteen people standing anywhere near the stage, and less than ten moving in any way. It was a real shame, but fortunately the bands did more than their fair share to keep things entertaining. Coming on stage shrouded in smoke and hiding behind ski masks, GFJD tore through a furious set of an indeterminate number of their Johnny Depp-fixated masterpieces. Singer Marty Leopard got gradually more and more undressed and spent just as much time in the crowd as up on stage, grabbing on to the few kids dancing up front, and running towards the back of the room to scream at those not getting involved. His typical act of tackling someone to the floor, kneeling on them and screaming in their face actually happened to me, as I was one of the few who dared get close enough.
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The crowd came forward a little more for Blakfish, but unfortunately remained equally as motionless. Less fast-and-furious, more mathy-and-brutal, the dual-guitar and dual-vocals onslaught threw themselves all over the stage with insane energy and aggression. Half-covering Phats and Smalls and Outhere Brothers (y’know, Boom boom boom! Let me here you say...) in between songs, inviting a kid on stage to play drums for a song and climbing all over the speaker stacks made for an incredibly bizarre and entertaining set, and during the last song, ‘Ringo Starr – 2nd Best Drummer In The Beatles’ , as the whole band screamed ‘It could be worse! We could be dead! Don’t know how we survived but all I know is we did!’, one of them hopped off stage to hang his guitar round my neck (as, yet again, I was one of the few getting involved) so he could climb the speakers one last time. Awesome.
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So, there you have it. I managed to have an amazing time – in fact, I probably had more fun than anyone else at the show – and I hope the lack of interest elsewhere in the crowd hasn’t put some of the best bands in hardcore off ever coming back. What say you on this? Sound off in our Fourum!