Sunday 28 October 2012

The Blackout // Pre-Party Tour Live Review, Leeds Cockpit

This was no ordinary The Blackout show; taking things back to the sweaty, in your face, more intimate venues the band were giving fans a special treat to see them play smaller venues in preparation for their much larger tour, kicking off in January 2013.

Est.1987 headed down to the sold out Cockpit show to check out what the “Pre-Party Tour” had to offer…

Sean Smith on stage at The Cockpit
The Blackout is a band that definitely has a reputation that precedes them. Their onstage antics and riotous behaviour, but also just what a damn good show they put on, is why the crowd tonight has high expectations and the Welsh six piece do not disappoint. Bursting on to the modest Cockpit stage they throw an army of multi-coloured balloons out into the enthusiastic crowd; the party has most definitely begun. This is the first night of the mini four date tour and, like many The Blackout show before it’s relentless, from beginning to end. Obvious opener “Start The Party” typifies the bands anthemic sound, stirring the crowd from the off as they shout back “P-A-R-T-Y”.

The Blackout's Sean Smith
Album tracks “Ambition Is Critical” and the more pop-punk “Top Of The World” soar out into The Cockpit. Crowd favourite “Children Of The Night” is screaming, melodic and anthemic, perfectly showing the rise and fall that The Blackout flawlessly hold down. The band also offers a new song to fans; “Never Die” is furious, fast and punchy. “I wanna see you go f*****g crazy”, shout the band and the pit explodes. “James Davies give them the riff”, instructs Sean Smith as the unforgettable “We’re Going To Hell…So Bring The Sunblock” begins, but of course the entire crowd predicts this as soon as the first chord is played and the pit violently erupts once again.

Sean: “I think I’m dying. Jesus Christ” Gavin: “We haven’t been doing this for a while”, reveal the two front-men. However, somehow Sean, a vision in pink (his hair that is), finds the energy and feeds off the crowd to continue. Throwing himself around the stage the front-man jumps into a spontaneous hand-stand during the infectious “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”. A quiet year for the Welsh boys, who’ve been away working on the next album and prepping for a busy 2013, has meant that live dates have been few and far between. Not that you’d know it though as their set is on point; as a band they understand what it takes to be the whole package and performing live comes effortlessly to them. The more ballad-like “Hope” slows the night down a little before heavier “Higher & Higher” with its big hooks ends the evening.

The Blackout's Gavin Butler in Leeds

A hefty and energetic night, even by The Blackout’s standards; the walls too are sweating by the end. Fans are left with Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down” as the lights come on and it was time to call it a night. Anyone wanting an encore will have to head to the 2013 The Party Tour which starts early next year so get your tickets now…

The forthcoming new album "Start The Party" is available for pre-order NOW -