Gig Review: Currents / Being As An Ocean / Oceans Ate Alaska / Sentinels – The Key Club, Leeds (8th February 2024)

You’ve got to love that feeling on the day of a gig; You wake up and open the curtains and BOOM, you’re blinded by white snow reflecting the sun. The question of how many people will make it to the gig tonight lingering on everyone’s mind. Luckily for Currents, the house was full for their sold out show in Leeds.

Sentinels (c) Jayne Slater

Sentinels, the New Jersey four piece, opened up for the night. The crowd more than reluctant it seemed to make some noise, being egged by pretty much all four members of the band. As the band made their way to the second song though, the crowd was finally starting to warm up and be more receptive to our opener. Given the struggles every opener has to make that impact on the crowd within 20-minutes, Sentinels did a great job of giving that energy to the crowd and getting them involved by asking questions like “who’s ready for the next song? We’ll play some new songs from our EP, is that okay?”.

The crowd interaction for this band was great. Which is exactly what an opener should have as a quality. The band would have people waving their hands side to side to the beat, a pit circle was attempted and the crowd were constantly encouraged to respond to their questions. For the music itself, the band held together tightly on their stage. The drummer provided the backing vocals to the vocalist’s harsh screams and the guitarists weren’t shy in moving and moshing around the small area.

Oceans Ate Alaska (c) Jayne Slater

Oceans Ate Alaska then took to the stage. Many of the people in the crowd clearly here for them as they sung back the lyrics and crowded close to the members. The band announced a new vocalist not too long ago, dropping one single so far featuring the new member and the vocalist even introducing himself to the crowd as “you may have noticed I’m new[…]” The vocals on both sides were very strong. The harsh vocalist had beastly gutturals and the soft vocalist had some great grit to his voice that added a nice value that balanced them together.

Every song was met with a clap from the audience, only further amplified by the vocalist’s interaction with the crowd. The vocalist at one point claimed he had a gift for the fans, pointing the mic to the guitarist as he farted in it… that was something I didn’t think I’d ever write in a review of a live stage but I always try to include all notable events of the night so here we are. As the band neared the end of their stage, they even went as far as to prompt people to find their friends at the drop and “throw them”. Which was met with a laugh from the pit. I lost sight of the vocalist at one point, as I’m writing my review in real time, and I can only assume he was somewhere within the dimly lit pit as I could see phones pointed to the middle.

If you like what we do, consider joining us on Patreon for as little as £1 per month!

Being As An Ocean (c) Jayne Slater

Being As An Ocean came on after about a 20-minute turn around. I’ve shot this band before, so thought I’d know what to expect. That is until a female vocalist came out…I could’ve sworn I shot a male vocalist last time. As I was having my inner crisis that I somehow made up a man in my head, the band announced that there were issues relating to the usual vocalist and so the band had a substitute vocalist for tonight. Regardless of the behind the scenes developments, the vocals of the band today were hitting deep. The soft vocals of the guitarist were stable like the last time I saw them, and the harsh vocals had this tone to the sound that reminds me of the way Oli Sykes screams. Instead of being guttural, they had this sharpness to them that made the lyrics hit more as they sounded even more raw.

The crowd were definitely waking up, despite not having the usual frontman. The band members were sharing the responsibility. Our stand in vocalist was delivering a great performance and seemed to be being careful to not speak for the band at any point. Instead all the announcements and crowd interaction were from the band on the frontlines. The guitarist disappeared into the crowd near the first song, before hopping back up onto the stage. This enthusiasm then seemed to prompt a crowd surfer…but there were no security to catch them (also not photo pit to land in), so it fell to the guitarist and cover vocalist to catch them on the stage. It made for a cute photo, to be fair.

I always like to look around the crowd and see what kind of music the fans listen to and I cannot stress enough how much Sleep Token merch there was. There was a lot of Sleep Token shirts. Other bands included Parkway Drive, Knocked Loose and I could see some Lorna Shore rep going on too. The majority of this crowd, it seems, being the younger generation of metal fans which is always nice to see especially for bands that have been around since I was in school.

Don’t fancy Patreon? Buy us a one-off beverage!

Currents (c) Jayne Slater

Currents are a Connecticut born 5-piece band currently touring the UK and EU promoting their album, “The Death We Seek”. On this leg of the tour, the band are playing sold out venues (clearly showing the long wait fans have had). The crowd is packed near the front as the stage gets set and once those lights go down, the energy is palpable. With no photo pit, it means those with a photo pass at this venue are thrown around and fighting for their lives to get a shot that isn’t either blurry or have someone’s moshing hair covering the subject. All this is minimal though when it comes to the fact of why we’re here; to enjoy the show. Which is exactly what the fans and band were doing.

We already had one crowd surfer within the first couple songs. The fan being pulled onto the stage by the vocalist and immediately diving back into the crowd. You had the mosh pit just behind the first couple rows at barrier that had people throwing themselves in every direction and bouncing off each other. I could see the videographer of the band looking from the stage door with worry as he held his thousand of pounds worth of gear trying to figure out how the hell he’ll get some shots.

The vocalist had great frontman energy: speaking to the crowd with confidence and having a laugh. Though not as demanding as other vocalists of the night, the guy didn’t really have to ask for any moshing, as people were doing it the moment they stepped on stage. The overall instrumental parts of the songs had a great mix going on, it made the sound fuller and made the riffs feel smooth. When I was writing my review, I chose to sit away from the crowd as I didn’t want to break my equipment or my body and you honestly couldn’t really tell it was a live performance, everything was engineered so well, it all went together to sound like a recording being played extremely loud with some bass turned up (the band and crew clearly experienced in this field).

Currents bring an insane energy with them to the stage and put on a great performance, with the fans of this band only amplifying that. Each of the supports created enough intrigue behind them and interaction that I’m sure with every date of this tour they do, they’ll have gained a plethora of new fans. Currents will be touring the UK til mid February, where they then head to Europe til the end of the month.

Photos by Jayne Slater

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments