There seems to be within DIY touring circles a certain avoidance of Leeds by certain bands. Hardcore shows are almost guaranteed to have a good turnout of crew and a fun atmosphere, as are any TNS affiliated events, but for most southern punk bands (younger ones at least) things can get a little strange. As such Leeds is often ditched in favour of Manchester and Sheffield, so it was good to find out that The Restarts were Leeds-bound, and at the city’s finest new DIY venue at that. My plans to finish work and then cruise around on a skateboard until the gig were scuppered by shite weather, so my gig preparation consisted of sitting in the back of my shop drinking cider and chatting shit, before I headed to the venue for doors to carry on in a similar vein. After texting a bunch of the usual suspects and receiving replies in the negative I wasn’t sure how many people would turf out, but by about 8 the Temple was getting nicely packed out. Sitting in the bar area, the building is small enough to usually hear the moment a band plays their first chord and head through – unfortunately this doesn’t compute to acoustic music, so my first inkling that Paul Carter was playing was the gradual drain in bodies from the bar. This was a slow realisation, hampered by a fog which was equal parts customer service exhaustion and cider abuse, and as a result I only caught the very last few songs. These were good songs however, including his classic ‘Speed’, ‘You’re Living in the Past’, and to finish a crowd-enhanced sing-a-long of something which I should remember, but which is unfortunately lost in the foggy haze of a week and a half ago.
Mood uplifted, I headed out to the bar where it was bought crashing down by, shall we say, the attitudes of certain crowd members (I originally wrote this out in detail but fuck negativity, this blog is meant to get people hyped on going to shows).Luckily Canadians The Rebel Spell put me back on keel with a set of melodic hardcore which bought to mind such luminaries as SNFU, Avail and Youth Brigade. Fast, tight and with a shit hot bass player, they worked out a treat as the only unknown for me in the evening’s line up. As the evening wore on I started to flag, but The Restarts are always a reliable wake up and they didn’t disappoint with a set of gravel voiced classics including ‘Outsiders’, ‘On To You’, ‘Timewaster’ and a glorious encore of ‘Frustration’ while everyone got jumping down the front. Tiredness was paradoxically washed away in the rivers of dank which poured into my lungs, and I headed out stoked on places like the Temple and bands like the night’s line up who are out there keeping the DIY spirit alive!