Band Of Horses @ Leeds Academy 31/01/11

It may only be a matter of months since Band of Horses last ventured to the UK with a handful of dates last summer, plus appearances at the 2010 Leeds and Reading festivals, but make no mistake, on the back of superb third album ‘Infinite Arms’, their return is more than welcome, with a genuine sense of excitement radiating from all in attendence.

Right from the start the set displayed the perfect balance of the band’s varying tempos, with steady opener ‘Ode to the LRC’ stirring the crowd just enough for the more rousing ‘NW Apartment’. Likewise the frenzy of ‘Islands on the Coast’ segmented nicely into the mellow orchestration of ‘Factory’. With a huge video screen behind the band, showing mostly scenic and panoramic views, the show quickly became as much a visual delight, as an audio one. Mid set new song ‘Bats’ received a welcome reception; sounding equally fresh but without being too adventourous, as did older tracks such as ‘Is There A Ghost’ and ‘Weed Party’.

Playing for a generous hour and thirty, unsurprisngly towards the end filler tracks such as ‘Older’ did feel a bit unnecessary. However a breathtaking acoustic duet of ‘Evening Kitchen’ soon re-engerised the encore, before the inevitable, but unmistakable power of the ‘The Funeral’ echoed up to the academy’s high ceilings. No signs of slowing down just yet then.

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