Crows: Headrow House, Leeds

The evening began with Long Body, Leeds’ latest Rock duo, having only been a band since February of this year. They describe themselves as ‘Lo-Fi Fuzzy Sad Pop’ which is certainly accurate. Fast and heavy drum parts, simple and distorted guitar lines and anxious sounding vocals over the top. To say there’s only two members their sound is surprisingly big and filled all the gaps in-between the audience members. It’s a shame more people didn’t come down early to catch their set.

It was then the turn of Virgin Kids. High energy, constant smiles and jumping up and down around the stage, tour support Virgin Kids didn’t mess around kicking straight in with a currently unreleased song. Only three shows in with their brand new drummer Jack Davis, their playing was tight and appeared effortless. Catchy guitar riffs imitated by lead singer Asher Preston’s vocal melodies is what Virgin Kids do best, with the addition of backing vocals from both other members making their ‘oohs’, ‘aahs’ and small shrieks that little bit more driven. Bass lines that sounded almost as big as the guy behind them, Paul Rosser was throwing his hair around and laughing whilst holding the rhythm section together as if it was child’s play.

The set picked up in pace with ‘Never Nude’ off their debut album “Greasewheel”, with Preston getting so over-excited one of his shoe’s came flying off. Unfazed by the situation he simply kicked off the other and joined back in dancing around the stage. It became more apparent throughout their set that the two frontmen, Preston and Rosser, have a special love for each other. Best friends, roomies and band mates for multiple years now, they were kissing, head-butting and constantly giggling. This only added to their already joyful set full of fuzzed out garage punk and made everybody in the audience want to join in with the fun.

Headlining the night, Crows took to the stage dressed top to toe in black and grey and in contrast to Virgin Kids, there was not a single smile on the stage. Guitarist Steve Goddard kicked in with a dark, delay-soaked riff and instantaneously frontman James Cox started throwing himself around the stage. Cox’s vocals sit somewhere in the middle of Post-Punk and Hardcore, softly yet sternly talking at points whilst screaming at others. To exaggerate these two styles of singing even more Cox performs with two microphones, one normal and one 50’s style microphone which is run through what sounds to be a delay and loop pedal, adding layer after layer of intense screams and shouts to each song.

Early on in the set Cox made his way into the crowd carrying his two microphones with him. Resting the microphone stands on each shoulder as he swung his body around in aggression, audience members were forced to duck in order to avoid a knock to the head. At most gigs, if an audience member had a microphone in front of their face they would take that opportunity to either attempt to sing or shout something stupid, but not at this gig, where the person holding the microphone has veins bulging out of their neck, eyes staring straight through you and saliva involuntarily flying out of their mouth as they shake their head around.

Still on stage, the other band members were equally aggressive with their performances. Goddard’s riffs and Jith Amara’s bass lines bellowed through the bare brick walls of Headrow House and still managed to perfectly entwine, backed up by Laurence Rushworth’s mammoth drum beats, this was most certainly a gig I was thankful to have earplugs at.

Whether it’s through their massive sound or their reckless and fierce stage-presence, Crows are guaranteed to make you feel intimidated, but you’ll most certainly love every second of it.