Band of Horses, O2 Academy, Leeds

in Live

Tonight in Leeds we had a choice of great live music.

Here at the O2 Academy you can expect a healthy dose of Country tinged indie-rock, over the road at The First Direct Arena its southern garage rock.

There is one thing for certain for me the O2 was definitely the place to be, for tonight on the bill we had singer /songwriter Israel Nash and Band Of Horses showing us just how things should be done.

Israel Nash, hailing from Missouri, opened the evening with a superb display of quality songs, performed in his inimitable psychedelic country style. Simple, no frills, quality musicianship from both Israel and his steel pedal player Eric Swanson. Featuring songs mainly fro his latest release Silver Season, the Leeds crowd showed a great appreciation for just how good these songs are.

Band Of Horses are one of those bands that are very difficult to pigeon hole into just one genre and the diverse crowd reflected this perfectly.

Formed in Seattle in 2004 the band have released 5 studio albums, including the Grammy nominated “Infinite Arms” and have become a powerhouse of indie-country rock. The expectant Leeds crowd, now warmed up, were eagerly awaiting their entrance.

Instead of the usual high intensity build up , the start of the show was extremely low key. Walking onto the stage Ben Bridwell, simply introduced himself and then asked for everyone’s names, just the light touch that set opener “Infinite Arms” required.

Personally this was an eye opener, as to be perfectly honest I hadn’t decided whether or not I really liked Band Of Horses. Well one thing is for certain I do now. This band is one you definitely have to see live. What followed was a night of quality performances, superb songs and great music.

The 19 song set took us through a journey of the bands back catalogue and songs from their latest release “Why are you OK”. Highlights for me were the opener “Infinite Arms”, “The Great Salt Lake”, “Country Teen”,”In a Drawer” and “Ode to LRC” and of course, the cinematic anthem “The Funeral”.

It is clear from watching the performance that this band just love what they do and want us all to be a part of their world and you really are drawn in by all your senses and that for me is a sign of just what a great live gig should be all about.

If you are as yet undecided as to wether or not to catch them on this tour, take it from me, you should. You will not be disappointed.


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