Local Natives @ Leadmill – 25th October
Major problem. I don’t quite know what to say about this gig, which when I’m meant to be writing a review, is problematic at best.
The reason that I’m lost for words is that I found myself totally at odds with the vast majority of the crowd here in the Leadmill tonight as I did not enjoy this gig anything near as much as everyone around me. I’m a big fan of Local Natives, and when I saw them a few years ago at the Brudenell it was one of the most joyous gigs I’d ever seen. Excitement at hearing their new album in January was increased when they announced this Sheffield gig, so what went wrong? Well, gone was any idea of light and shade. Someone seems to have turned this band up to volume 11 and told them ‘it’ll sound better the louder you play it’. There was no evidence of this approach when I heard the Hummingbird album. It seemed to be in the vein of the sublime Gorilla Manor from 2009, but tonight it all began to sound the same as every song became a power ballad. I know I’m running the risk of joining my dad in asking why they have to play so loud, but believe me that couldn’t be further from the truth. Their songs are too good to all be played at full tilt, and any subtlety gets lost in the melee. But that didn’t seem to mean anything to anybody standing near me, so who am I to judge? I’d be the last one to advocate playing the songs live so that they sound the same as they do on the album, but this was overkill for me. Sorry, I just didn’t get it. This was a disappointment, when I know how inspiring and enjoyable they can be live.
Words: Mark (turning into his dad) Perkins