Tokyo Police Club: The Cockpit, Leeds

As the second room in The Cockpit steadily began to fill up Menace Beach took to the stage. Much has been made of their line-up resembling an NFL player draft, as they have handpicked some of the best musicians from Leed’s finest bands. The noise they create certainly resembles a meeting of minds and an abundance of talent. They treated the crowd to renditions of tracks from their latest critically acclaimed EP, Lowtalker, and previous releases. It was an explosive, distortion heavy start with plenty of controlled feedback. Highlights included ‘Where I Come From’, ‘Drop Out’ and ‘Tastes Like Medicine’. Having now seen Menace Beach on a number of occasions I considered this set to be the most exhilarating I have witnessed so far. They seemed to be cutting loose on a grander scale than in previous shows, and they are in no way restrained to begin with.

A rousing set from Menace Beach, which ended on ‘Fortune Teller’, had everyone fired up for the arrival of Tokyo Police Club. The Ontario quartet are over here touring their latest album Forcefield. The Cockpit is bustling now and the crowd are instantly singing along. As they open with ‘Argentina Pt I, II & III’ the first thing you notice about the new material is that it seems lighter than their earlier work, leaning more toward indie-pop and relying on big catchy choruses rather than the energetic guitar riffs that used to be so prominent.

Three songs in the crowd begins to pick up as they break into ‘Nature Of The Experiment’ from their first album A Lesson In Crime. It was clear early on that although this set was mainly to promote the new album they were also going to please the crowd with extensive delving into their back catalogue. Favourites such as ‘Be Good’ received an energetic reception as did Forcefield’s highlights ‘Hot Tonight’ and ‘Gonna Be Ready’.

The band seemed to be spurred on by the enthusiastic audience, and genuinely looked to be enjoying themselves on stage. It was refreshing to see an indie band putting the effort in and caring if the audience had a good time rather than rattling through a set with cool disinterest. The set climaxed with ‘Cheer It On’ before they returned for an encore. Firstly lead singer and bassist David Monks performing an acoustic version of ‘Tessellate’ before the rest of the band joined him for a final send off. The night ended on a real high as they performed ‘Your English Is Good’ and the fans screamed along and thrashed around.

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