New Years Day / Lowlives / Call Me Amour

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New Years Day / Lowlives / Call Me Amour -  Key Club, Leeds (UK) - 18 February 2020

This is the first headline tour that New Year's Day have done, and the first time I have had chance to see them since their appearance at Download, and also the first time I had visited this venue. I was a little puzzled when I looked on the interweb to see what I could find out about the place, and was a little puzzled by the photo that appeared to show that it was in a record shop.

Entering the basement below the record shop, I thought it strange that a band that last toured this country playing arenas could now be seen in an area not much bigger than my kitchen. Cosy and intimate does not describe it. First up then was a band called Call Me Amour, who I thought, for a first support slot, were very good indeed. A thirty-minute set showed that the band were tight, with strong, original material, although they did do a cover of a Post Malone song, but that seemed to fit well with everything else and when the time came for audience participation almost everybody joined in. The vocalist came down into the crowd for 'IMFKD' and their last song was probably the best, not because it was their last song, but more because they were following the old tradition of "Always leave them wanting more."

Set List:- Blackout, Tourniquet, Chasing Bugs, Rockstar (Post Malone), IMFKD, Deeper.

After a quick turn-around, the next band Lowlives were straight into things with their post-Punk-edged music. Ex The Defiled front-man Lee Villain, with old (probably a bit rare now),Travis Bean guitar, sang with ferocious intent, even jumping off the stage (which caused problems with said instrument) and playing mid-crowd during one song. He screamed a bit, and sometimes the lyrics were indistinct, but he can sing. Again, a decent support band that was well worth catching.

Set list:- Thieves, Hey You, Bones, Black Hole, Friends, Gravity, Freaking Out, Burn Forever.

New Year's Day saw the venue heaving, as word is spreading about Ashley Costello and her band. The mobile phones were out in number, even before they came on stage, and now sporting a split blonde/black hair style (as opposed to the red/black) she is no less of a spectacle on stage and worked the whole room all night. On raised platforms, left, right and centre stage, she never stopped and, a little more worrying, never seemed to break into a sweat, despite saying how warm it was up there. With the proliferation of female-fronted bands around these days, you have to have something different, or be really, really good at what you do, to attract people's attention, and people had travelled to see them tonight. While they have not yet reached the overall spectacle of, say, an In This Moment performance, nothing can be taken away from how hard all the band work over their hour on stage. Ashley's communication with the crowd was ever present, talking every time between songs, and she did mention that this show was being live streamed all over the world. She commented a couple of times at how orderly and polite the crowd was (to which the crowd responded to with chants of "Yorkshire, Yorkshire" which is obviously something they do around here, and which she didn't get at first), particularly when they made a space on the floor for the whole band to come down to (it was obviously a "thing" for this tour). Her contact with the audience was quite impressive, and it will be interesting to see if she maintains that when they get to larger venues. Towards the end, she even asked those at the front to make way so that people at the back could be closer for a while, which did happen to an extent.
This was the first date of their first headlining tour in this country, and the band seemed very happy with their performance, the turnout and the reaction they got.

Set List:- Come for Me, Malevolence, I'm About To Break You, Fucking Hostile, Shut Up, Gangsta,(Kehlani), Skeletons, Kill Or Be Killed, Epidemic, Scream, Defame Me. Encore:- Angel Eyes.

Andy B.

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