In 2015, Lord Huron released Strange Trails. I wasn’t a mega fan at the time, although Ste had introduced me to Lonesome Dreams. I liked Strange Trails when I first heard it and now, 3 years later it’s firmly placed in my top 10 albums of all time (it’s number 1 on some days). After catching them at The Cluny in the first year of agigamonth I was eager to get tickets for this gig, originally planned for the Brudenell Social Club. The nearer we got to the gig, the more obvious it was that no new material was going to land (in the week since the gig, there’s been 2 songs and some teaser stuff on social media). That didn’t matter. It was awesome regardless.
Best laid plans: Ste & I got tickets for this as soon as they came out. Leeds isn’t too far south of us, but it’s 90 minutes or so from me and a couple of hours from Ste. We were going to head down together and garb some drinks, staying in a hotel for the night. In a bit of unfortunate timing, my daughter had a swimming gala during the day in Sheffield (further South) and it was obvious that this was going to be tight to get back up for the gig. Ste went straight to the hotel. Lana finished her final race at 5pm and after a rapid turnaround, I too managed to get to the hotel shortly after 6.30pm. Straight out for food and drinks. As a safe bet we went to the Wetherspoons; The Cuthbert Broderick (the one we always seem to end up at in Leeds). It was busy, but we took a seat and downloaded the pub app and ordered food and drink through it. A couple of minutes later the pints arrived (Shipyard American Pale Ale) and a few minutes after that the Haggis Burgers arrived (Burn’s night special). Tremendous! We downed the pints and took on the burgers, delighted that we would get to the venue in time to catch the support act.
Queue. Not so good, Al: we arrived at the venue and there was a huge queue. It turned out that those with a physical ticket could go straight in. Those with a barcode print out (which is surely now the norm) had to queue and queue very slowly at that. As we approached the door, we could hear that Flyte had already taken stage.
Support Act: Flyte were good. Very good. We only caught 4 songs (Cathy, Come Home amongst them) and I needed to visit the bar for one of them.
Lord Huron: LH took to the stage at about 9pm. The sound wasn’t initially that clear, but it improved as they played an outstanding set, drawn heavily from Strange Trails. It’s really difficult to explain why I like this band so much. There’s something about Strange Trails that I think works as an album. All the songs are strong and it works really well as a whole. I never tire of listening to it and when I first bought my new turntable, this was the LP that I played non-stop. It was therefore great to hear loads of Strange Trails songs again, with an early intro into the new album, Vide Noir.
There were three/four new tracks played it the gig. At the time of writing the 4th song in the set was still unknown to me, but contained a line along the lines of “wake her in the morning“. Wait By The River was a another new one – I got the title from other setlists. Since the gig I worked out that the 3rd new track was Ancient Names (Part One), which may well have bled into Ancient Names (Part Two), but I’ve got no idea now. The new songs had a slightly different sound, seeming more keyboard / electronic driven. They sounded good, but I need a few more listens. A contributor to setlistfm replaced the original noting of “unknown” (which turned out to be Ancient Names) with Until The Night Turns. I’d had a few to drink, but I’m pretty certain they didn’t play that.
Highlights of the set were The Birds Are Singing At Night, Time To Run, The Night We Met and Fool For Love. That said, it was all awesome and I’m hoping they will be back to tour once Vide Noir has landed. A Newcastle date would be nice!
Merchandise: I couldn’t resist a T-shirt. I tidy £20 for an emerald logo.
Beers & post-gig entertainment: we got a range of bottled craft / real ales from the student union bar. All eye-wateringly expensive and poured out of the glass bottle into a squeeze plastic pint pot. Can’t be helped. I can’t remember the names now, but Ste picked up Brooklyn one of some description that was 6.7%! After the gig, the SU bar was already closed, so we headed to find a pub. We landed in Shenanigans and despite me never having ordered a Guinness in my life, that’s what we both decided to do. After a couple of pints of the black stuff we headed back to The Cuthbert Broderick for a Shipyard. We then took a trip back to the hotel for a final bottle of ale before calling it a night.
— Chris Williams (@cwblueroom) January 20, 2018