Portland’s Blitzen Trapper return to one of Leeds’ best live music venues, Brudenell Social Club, as part of their extensive European tour. About time.
Opening, we were treated to Leeds band, Cruel World’s second-ever outing, fronted by Post War Glamour Girls’ James Smith, featuring an Arthur Russell cover and putting out tracks of a happier calibre than you’d expect from the band members’ own respective other projects. Only starting out in September 2017, keep peeled for more from these Leeds scene veterans.
Listen to ‘Boxer’ by Cruel World:
And now, Blitzen Trapper brought their Portland-based psych Americana to Leeds’ Brudenell prepped for an audience of die-hard lovers, opening their first Leeds show in years with ‘Fire and Fast Bullets’ from their 2008 album, ‘Furr’.
Hard to believe that the record is a decade old, and the band have reached a lofty 18 years, here we are with the band in the midst of a European tour.
With obvious stage banter from sprightly frontman Eric Earley, “Do you all have any specific ways to say you’re from your town? Are you guys ‘Leaders’?, met with a mixture of groans and proud shouts, the band segued into ‘Wild and Reckless’ before bringing out the funk, peppy harmonica, and more of their curious mix of tuneful guitar jams, before hitting us up with more commentary about how Yorkshire folk are proper proud and stuff. “You guys are really polite.”
Tonight’s set was dedicated to the hardcore Blitzen Trapper fan, but small pockets of space could be found for the newcomer amid the extensive, sometimes indulgent, solos. ‘Black River Killer’ was one of the best tracks of the night, before the crowd harmonised to the long opening of ‘When I’m Dying’. ‘Thirsty Man’ and ‘No Man’s Land’ were other highlights, with extended intros and outros as you’d expect from a band with so much behind them.
Navel-gazing? Sometimes. Showmen? Absolutely.
See our gallery below: