Tonight's gig quickly demonstrates why Leaves are destined for greater things. Opening song 'I Go Down' is reminiscent of The Verve & Coldplay, which can't hurt the Icelandic lads' commercial prospects. More importantly the roadie looked very similar to U2's Edge (admittedly from a distance) which is surely an omen that a stadium tour beckons. But casting aside future career prospects, this evening presents the opportunity to hear magnificent new album 'Breathe' in intimate surroundings.
'I Go Down' is a great example of the sort of uplifting melancholia that Coldplay have mastered so successfully, coupled to a Thom Yorke vocal style. Leaves can also effortlessly change up a few gears to rock out impressively, making for a captivatingly varied set. 'Crazy' and 'Alone In The Sun' both sound like Mansun at their finest (the album owes a large debt to 'Attack of the Grey Lantern') but thankfully there isn't a safety pin in sight.
There is a surprisingly muted response to the title track and debut single from the otherwise enthusiastic audience filling the small venue, especially as lead singer Arnar Gudjonsson really begins to put serious effort into impersonating the Mick Jagger pout. Second single 'Race' recalls Echo And The Bunnymen on the album, but live it is played with greater conviction & the squall of the guitars lends the song greater impact.