Despite an impromptu change of venue and a little panic, we made it to the Nation of Shopkeepers, after a very well-anticipated Eagulls gig, with support band Drenge. Initially, I was shocked by the venue; a cosy bar playing ‘greatest Motown’ didn’t seem right for a gig we had been warned to ‘take body armour’ to. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as the small venue offered an intimate atmosphere that seemed necessary for the style of gig. As the place started to fill, my anticipation built. First band Drenge were pleasantly surprising. The two -piece band offered big sound – if you hadn’t seen them, you’d be fooled into thinking they were of much greater numbers. The brothers did a great job of livening up the crowd with their visceral riffs and interesting musical arrangements, and I found myself wishing for a longer set.
After this impromptu set, they slipped back into the crowd to enjoy the atmosphere with the rest of the crowd. That is, until Eagulls began their soundcheck. With a bass amp that made sound travel through my entire body, I knew this was going to be lively… to say the least. The rooted 5-piece Leeds band has been gigging in Leeds for over two years, in small venues such as The Nation. In fairness, I think they deserve a lot more recognition than they receive – the band claim a ‘harsh but poppy’ sound, which seems to fit the bill perfectly. They have all the grunginess of an 80’s rock band, with catchy tunes that will be haunting you for days after seeing them. This band could be huge, but I have a feeling they’re going to stick to what they know with the local Leeds scene, where they have been very successful of late. Either way, this is not the last we’re going to see of them – me included. The £5 I paid for the ticket was an absolute bargain, with a great night spent in a lovely venue. Definitely one to see again – if my ears can hande it!
By Sophie Whitehead