Live Review : Angelspit

By on 20 September 2012


Cockpit, Leeds


The very first time Angelspit played the UK it was in Leeds.   On that day they played the famous Josephs Well venue, with Canadians Ayria and the psychedelic Ego Likeness.  It was a very enjoyable event, 3 great performances from 3 great bands, but something very important was missing…. a crowd!

5 years later, they’re here again in a much smaller venue (the attic of the Cockpit is cosy to say the least) but with two UK acts, who’ve both got something interesting to showcase.

Zeitgeist Zero were late additions to this bill.  They’ve clearly brought a lot of friends, but perhaps had they been added to the bill sooner they’d have brought more friends.  They usually play to bigger crowds than this in Leeds.   They’ve been gigging best part of a decade now, but for a couple of minor line-up changes they’re still one of the UK acts that you can rely on for a good performance.

The five-piece cram on the compact stage and entertain the crowd with their eerie macabre pop. Catchy and irresistibly danceable, tracks like ‘Dance of the Fallen’ and ‘When the Lights Go Down’ are criminally underrated.

Uberbyte make the risky move of massively overhauling their set.  Unless you’ve listened to any of the 24-hour previews they’ve put out recently, all but one of the tracks tonight will be unknown to you.   It’s a move reminiscent of Pitchshifter in 1997 where fans arriving to see them were greeted to 10 new and unknown songs, very different to what they’d done previously, within a 13 song set.   The 10 new songs in their case went on to formulate part of the album which completely changed their career path, boosted their record sales and got them onto a major record label…. Although let’s play down expectations for Uberbyte just yet…

It may be a risky move, but the crowd completely laps it up – it could easy be a set of the greatest hits, rather than unknown new songs, such is the response.   With elements of jumpstyle,dubstep, hardstyle and other curse words; the new direction should be all bad and wrong… but it just seems so right.    Deep down the tracks are still core Uberbyte tracks, some are silly, some are bouncy and, err, some sound awful VNV Nation-y.

What sort of responses will be received when the Uberbyte album is released, we will have to see.   The potential is there for better things, but how this plays into reality is currently guesswork at best.

One of the slight worries for Angelspit here is that a lot of people leave after Uberbyte.   There’s also a little bit concern that a lot of people didn’t know the show was even on until Zeitgeist Zero had been added to the bill and started to tell people.  Whilst many people have travelled to get to the gig, perhaps local promotion could have been better.

This is not to say that turnout is dreadful, just perhaps not reached it’s full potential.   Perhaps.  But in saying that, the cosy venue size makes that even with the estimated 40-50 people, it seems very full.  It’s pretty tight and compact and very punk-rock.  Well.  Electro-industrial-punk-rock.

Taking a setlist that spans their whole career, there are plenty of favourites, old and new – there’s stuff here no matter how long you’ve been into the band, from the howling ‘Wolf’ to the Satanic ‘Wreak Havoc’ to the motorised purring of ‘Kill Kitty’ or, of course, the shreading distortion of ‘Skinny Little Bitch’ it’s all in there sounding as anarchic, noisy and distorted as ever.

There has been a minor line-up change with one ex-Cruxshadows (Valerie) making way for another (George) on guitar duties, the whole “expanded line-up” thing looks a lot more settled and structured. It’s less “wait, they’re now a four-piece” but more a “I can’t believe they used to only be a two-piece”

Of course, for all it seems like a random cocktail of static noises, the secret to the quality in Angelspit is they’re not quite as wild as it seems.  Deep down these are all written like pop songs, hooks and melodies, something to have you singing along to… but these are all cleverly concealed behind the wall of sound.  It’s clever and effective if you think about it…. Organised chaos!

They’re always a band who are great to see, it’s brilliant they’ve been able to tour in the UK so often, just sometimes, it’s a shame more people don’t come and see – because they are worth seeing.

Kevin Morris



About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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