Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

27th June 06, Leeds Student Union

Death Cab for Cutie

I’m always a bit wary of support bands that I’ve never heard of, occasionally it can be a nice surprise but for the majority there is a reason why I have never heard of them or intend to.

With a quick spot of research I find that Vive Voce are a husband and wife duo who play a mix of folk and indie pop. They also have a song called ‘Lesson No.1’ on a Motorola advert at the minute, which despite the amount of football I’ve watched lately I don’t remember seeing.

Some facts out of the way and I suppose I might as well mention that with that description the first thing I thought of was the White Stripes which is an appalling and entirely wrong comparison to make because as they arrive on stage and start playing a mixture of songs from their back catalogue its obvious that it would be in no way accurate. They do a reasonable job of holding the attention but if anything it’s almost as though the stage is too big for them and have to deal with a crowd only really here for one thing. Regardless of this there is something totally charming about the songs that range from fuzzy guitars to sparse open percussion sounds despite having albums that death metal bands would be happy with (see ‘Get Yr Blood Sucked Out’ and ‘The Heat Will Melt Yr Brain’). In truth the gentle sounds of Vive Voce are more than welcome in a place that is getting warmer by the second.

It’s hard to mention DCFC without mentioning the OC. Undoubtedly a fine band before those fateful words were uttered that seemingly seem determined to rocket Ben Gibbard and co into the hearts and minds of ‘hip’ kids and parents alike but would they be performing in a venue like this, the biggest Leeds has to offer if it wasn’t for these reasons? The fact I see one kid in the crowd wearing sunglasses like he’s come straight from Hunter S. Thompson’ s ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ doesn’t really help to diminish this worry.

It could all have been so different, had DCFC come over and supported Blink on the last tour they did towards the end of ’04 this rise may have come faster but at the end of the performance they leave the majority in awe of them and happy smiling face. Yet as I leave and hear someone say that it was the best gig he’s been to in a long time, it makes me worry about what bands he’s been seeing lately because although it’s an accomplished performance it isn’t anything to write home about.

We are treated to the standout tracks you’d expect from ‘Plans’ and ‘Title and Registration’ which are greeted with enthusiasm and handclaps while the few older songs like ‘Why You’d Like To Live Here’ that punctuate the set don’t go down as well just because many haven’t heard them before. Although one watcher amuses me by dancing to the songs with what looks like the hand movements of a mimic pretending to climb a ladder. It’s good but it lacks a bit in atmosphere, although this may have something to do with the stifling temperatures.

Maybe what annoys me the most is towards the end of ‘We Looked Like Giants’ Gibbard signals his guitar has cut out and starts going mental and bangs on his drum machine… but wait all is not lost there is an extra drum kit and Gibbard then goes onto it and bangs out a double drum solo for a bit. Oh isn’t he wonderful and multi talented. Sure it’s well done but its so set up that I just can’t help feel disappointed. It may have been a good end to the show but it’s stretched out with three more songs including an acoustic ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’. It was a good show but it just had a spark missing.