There’s something just not right about tonight. The recent upgrade from the original billing of Academy 2, to the larger Academy 1 just does not sit well. Not that Glassjaw haven’t earned their significant cult following over the last decade of course, it’s just that by the time the headliners take to the stage, the venue is still only two thirds full.
First things first though, and after openers Shapes got proceedings off to a frantic start, Leeds’ hotly tipped Pulled Apart By Horses followed up in similar fashion. Clearly excited to be supporting, the band were a great choice for support; their own blend of noise rock clearly taking influence from Glassjaw somewhere along the line.
However, there’s no doubt the majority of the crowd were here for one band and one band only. Whilst they may not have officially released any new material in years, due to their often sporadic and delayed touring schedule; partly due to frontman Daryl Palumbo’s well documented battle with Crohns disease, any chance to see the band still feels like a rare treat. Mixing material from 2000 debut Everything You Every Wanted To Know About Silence and 2002 follow up Worship and Tribute: highlights came from both the early airings of ‘Tip Your Bartender’ and ‘Mu Empire’ and the double of whammy of ‘Pretty Lush’ and ‘Siberian Kiss’ towards the end. Likewise new material from the band’s forthcoming EP also impressed including, ‘All Good Junkies Go To Heaven’, but perhaps more satisfying than the actual set was the onstage energy from the band, who despite numerous setbacks over the years, clearly still seem to be enjoying themselves; as ever shunning convention by keeping crowd banter to a minimum – their only interactions seemingly random and incomprehensible to anyone not onstage. If only they’d kept it in Academy 2, it could have been something really special.