If you have ever wondered what being in an episode of former e4 hit teen show ‘Skins’ was like then get yourself along to a Hadouken! gig.
When you see a sixteen year old in the queue try to blag a stamp for alcohol, you know that it will be a young one. Upon entry to the Cockpit you’re greeted by the smell of stale marijuana, cheap beer and a lot of teenagers. Yorkshire support band Proxies opened, they are are an amalgamation of Twin Atlantic, You Me At Six and Kids in Glass Houses with a Yorkshire edge to their American inspired vocals.
After appreciating the lead singers distinctive tone, you notice a young Freddy Mercury in the peripherals playing the keyboard side stage, with his white vest and handlebar moustache. The highlight of the pop-punk electronica act was them getting the majority of the room to crouch to the floor before springing back up to action. Their lyrics were reminiscent of emo days past, and the crowd loved it.
The audience excitement levels rose as the sound engineers tested the equipment and in time with the growing energy a drunk girl falls into you, straight after that you’re face to face with a couple arguing and after you have turned the other way and another couple are in throws of passion. It may be that Hadouken! are getting older and lead singer Jamie felt the need to pace himself, but the fire in his eyes just wasn’t there, during the first two songs. His mouth stretched wide to catch the microphone, but his eyes still looked dead.
The crowd devoured everything thrown at them, they created a faux rave which sporadically turned into a moshpit as Jamie shouted “washing machine” – above it all a blown up condom danced gently to the ceiling. The room got hotter and the mist descended, the walls even started sweating, through the damp air, green and blue laser spectrums scan the room and the band perform an early song “Gatecrash Gate smash”. The elder members of the crowd look relieved as they could indulge in the nostalgia of the first album and Jamie began to look more like he believed in his own product. As the night went on his energy grew, and he started to jump, which brought the life back in his eyes, not just Jamie but guitarist Daniel Rice demonstrated his appreciation for the crowd through a series of crotch thrusts.
Starting their own record label in Leeds, the band have history with the city and demonstrated their knowledge with a series of questions, which included “do the emos still hang out outside of the corn exchange?” After receiving confirmation of this the next song was dedicated to them. They threw another line to fans from their earlier days with, “That Boy, That girl” another moment for the legal drinkers in the room. Sung along by people who’s Lego hair had since grown, polka dots had faded and jeans had learnt to breath.
They played a handful of songs off their new album, showing their diversity as their new music has leant more and more towards dance music. The song Oxygen took you to Creamfields and was a reminder of why they were a successful festival band.
The keen energy of the crowd added to the excitement of the gig, and if you weren’t into Hadouken! you could take solace by looking at the rest of the room, who were immersed in what looked like the best night of their life. If you were a fan, you would be joining the masses, listening out for Alice’s synth library and trying to match Jamie’s speed.
As the night goes on the characters in the crowd narrate the night, the previous couple who were arguing are now trying to eat one another and a new couple start a bitter public row. As the negative conversation at the back of the room gets louder the crowd members appear to jump more. After touching and recoiling at the wet wall, half the room bounces and it makes you wonder, would the couple still be arguing if they just followed suit and bounced like the rest of the crowd.