Hawk Eyes – The Cockpit, Leeds – 15/11/2011

Posted on November 16, 2011

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15/11/2011 – The Cockpit, Leeds – Hawk Eyes, Turbowolf, The James Cleaver Quintet

Last time I was in the Cockpit, I got extremely drunk and was a bit of an arse to Metronomy. No such worries this time, as I arrived the venue completely exhausted and in no mood to over indulge on the alcohol. Heck, I had an accumulator going that would have made me rich! (How the heck did Spain not beat Costa Rica? I hate you even more now, Spanish football). The line up of bands this evening was much more to my liking than the Metronomy gig anyway, and copius amounts of alcohol were not needed. The James Cleaver Quintet were up first however, and for all their bluster and energy they struggled to escape sounding like an early Every Time I Die/Glassjaw combo. The energy was great, and their frontman did have a hefty voice on him, but each song blended into the next with its frantic delivery and inevitably half time breakdown. ‘I do. You do. We do voodoo’ stood out a little, if only because it reminded me of System of a Down (Hey Humanfly drummer, how you doin?). I’m sure these are early days for the JCQ, and the future will bring greater things, but not yet.

Turbowolf were up next, and despite being the absolute spitting image of Charles I, their frontman had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand like some sort of cherubic wizard. They rattle through sleazy thrash punk ditty after sleazy thrash punk ditty, throwing ‘Ancient Snake’ out early on and not stopping the onslaught until ‘Let’s Die’ comes to its filthy conclusion. It wasn’t just the music that I enjoyed here though. The one thing that stood out in my mind was just how much fun they looked like they were having. Being a fan of heavy music from a young age, I’ve had to endure people telling me that heavy music is despressing and suicide music, but if you put Turbowolf on one side of the stage, Rihanna on the other and pressed mute, you tell me who is depressed? Turbowolf were great this evening.

Local heroes (will every review of this gig refer to them as so?) Hawk Eyes rounded the night off and from the very beginning they were plagued by technical difficulties, and I was plagued by the bassist from Castrovalva constantly standing in front of me, despite the fact he’s about 9 feet tall. Still, not even broken strings and an incredibly dodgy microphone stand could dampen the power of the Hawk Eyes set, and the new songs played bode very well for the future ‘Sky Spinners’ and ‘Kiss This’ in particular sounding more refined and focused than anything they have done previously. Still, older songs like ‘Scorpieau’ and ‘Kerosene’ sound absolutely violent, and sit against new stuff beautifully. ‘I Hate This, Do You Like It?’ is the inevitably finale, met by a couple of crowd surfers and an impromptu vocal assistance courtesty of members of Blacklisters and the aforementioned gargantuan Castrovalvan bass player. Irritating bastard mic stands or not, things are looking good for Chickenhawk. I mean Hawk Eyes. Yes.

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Posted in: Gigs