Gig review: Slaves At O2 Academy Leeds

Slaves at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Hannah Woollaston Photography
Slaves at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Hannah Woollaston Photography
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Eleven months ago, the O2 Academy Leeds saw Slaves play a short warm-up set for the rest of the bands on the NME tour bill. Sunday night saw the pair return to create their own chaos.

With a newly released deluxe version of their debut, Are You Satisfied?, and a recent tour which saw them reduce gig-goers up and down the country into giddy, sweaty messes, Slaves appear to be on a fast track to rock’n’roll glory.

The band returned to Leeds to give the rowdy crowd the show they had been waiting for since its postponement in November – and they certainly did not disappoint.

The first support came from Spring King. The Manchester band hold nothing back – their raw energy fills the venue as frontman and drummer, Tarek Musa fights to be heard over the noisy, indie rock created around him by his wide-eyed band mates.

Their set is closely followed by Wonk Unit, the second support of the evening arrive on stage full of anecdotes about a life in London. Their set was fun, weird, poetic and compelling all at once and left the audience ready for the main event.

Soon it is time for Slaves as guitarist Laurie Vincent and drummer Isaac Holman bound on stage and immediately crash into playing ‘Ninety Nine’.

Slaves at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Hannah Woollaston Photography

Slaves at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Hannah Woollaston Photography

It’s a relentless start to a gig that doesn’t let up as the duo continue to power through songs such as ‘Despair and Traffic’ and ‘Sockets’.

The pair then rattle through ‘Wow!!!7am’ which sees both beers and bodies flying all over the place.

As the duo power through the set carrying on with tracks from the debut, they soon reach crowd favourite ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’. Despite not being featured on the original album, it is a song the uncontrollable crowd know and love as the screeches of “Debbie, where’s your car?” can be heard even outside the venue.

‘Do Something’ makes way for the popular single ‘Cheer Up London’ which even sees Holman offering up career advice in the form of “Basically, if you’re not happy in your job, don’t do it.”

The screeches of “Debbie, where’s your car?” can be heard even outside the venue.

The crowd are more than happy to agree as the pair power on into ‘White Knuckle Ride’.

Next up is ‘Sugar Coated Bitter Truth’ but the band then slow things down with acoustic track ‘Are You Satisfied?’ much to the delight of everyone in attendance.

The band then carry on with their set and soon come to ‘The Hunter’, which gets the biggest reaction of the night with Holman seething and spitting out his words accompanied by Vincent’s impressive snake hips.

The duo announce the last song of the evening to be ‘Hey’ – but the pair and crowd show no signs of slowing down.

Slaves then say their goodbyes but the persistent crowd refuse to believe the show is over, even as the lights came up, fans still sat eagerly on each other’s shoulder but they will just have to wait until next time.

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