Exit Calm: The Cockpit, Leeds

An almost capacity crowd gathered in room 2 of The Cockpit in Leeds to witness one of the first few shows of Exit Calm’s tour. The tour coincides with the recent release of their second album The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be and they were in fine form.

As the anticipation built the room became gradually hotter and hotter before Exit Calm arrived and treated us to a gripping set with a great mixture of new and old material. Barnsley’s finest purveyors of anything musical came on stage in their own confident, yet understated, manner and proceeded to casually knock out anthem after anthem to the delight of their followers.

Their debut album is loved by the fans and this latest offering seems to be a continuation, and improvement, of their already highly regarded repertoire. Regardless of whether you are already familiar with their songs or not each one grips you and elevates your mood. At times the bass is wandering and moody but it also has the ability to knock your head off when combined with Nicky’s highly impressive, powerful and encapsulating vocals. Bassist Simon Lindley covers every inch of his bass creating tremors that drive the atmospheric nature which makes their tracks so engaging, while Nicky Smith’s flawless vocals pin you back against the wall. As the room became hotter and sweatier and the smoke machine filled the room the drums were piercing somehow they seemed amplified by the heat and smoke as the captivating guitar parts swirled round the room.

They showcased new material such as ‘The Rapture’, ‘Albion’ and ‘Fiction’ all of which incorporate their trademark moody, uplifting force but they have developed the catchy nature of the lyrics and vocals whilst staying true to their original ethos without losing any of their credibility. There seems to be an added layer of meaning within the lyrics and I particularly enjoyed the reference to Bill Hicks “choice of love and fear” in ‘Promise’. The new material slotted seamlessly alongside firm fan favourites due to the instantly accessible, and mood altering, brilliance of their creations.