They say that good things come to those who wait. There’s a queue of fans outside the Beckett University’s Student Union waiting to see the postponed, delayed, rearranged, rescheduled, postponed again and finally, definitely, Covid test permitting, ‘could this actually be happening’ Creeper tour hit Leeds. And they have certainly waited longer than most. Expectations are therefore running at an all time high that the goods are finally about to be delivered. In fact they are stratospheric. Live music is back, Creeper are back, the fans are back. Can the reality possibly meet the expectations?
Welsh rock band James and the Cold Gun start the evening by bounding onto the stage, and proceed to bounce all over it. They slowly win over the audience with a perfectly considered attack of enthusiasm and catchy songs, equal parts riff heavy rock and mosh friendly anthems that are easy to dance to. The Cold Gun are that dreaded phrase, a ‘lockdown band’ but they are already showcasing a confident live set that appears way beyond the limitations that Covid placed upon their ability to gather experience and fans.‘My Nan will be so happy to hear about this’ band member James Joseph comments gleefully as the audience starts up a spontaneous mosh pit, creating a level of audience engagement unusual for an opening band. They rip through a set with a confidence that suggests they will only grow with time.
Scottish duo Vukovi kept up the energy with their electronic rock infused sound. Jumping around the stage, the band radiated charisma which seemed to instantly translate to the audience. Singer Janniens’ willingness to interact directly with the crowd, reaching out to touch the fans and interact with them throughout the set creates the first real moment of the night – it’s what we’ve all been missing. Musically they performed a mix of old and new songs which rang through the venue, somehow all sounding better than they ever did on record. As they finish the set you can see the audience is fully warmed up and ready. The anticipation for Creeper is at fever pitch.
Kicking off with an elongated intro to further ramp up the tension, Creeper finally burst onto a stage filled with props, fountain pyros, and impressive costumes – including a massive pair of angel wings sported by Will and Hannah’s stunning bridal gown. They deliver the set everyone has been waiting so long to see, mixing a selection of songs from the older ‘horror punk’ sound with newer tracks from the 2020 album Sex, Death & Infinite Void and its influences from Brit pop and 70’s British Rock. It’s gloriously delivered with a theatrical swagger that truly sets the band apart, and its completely obvious why they’ve been so highly praised over the years. This is clearly a band that are at their best when they get to play directly to their own fans, and they create a celebratory atmosphere that you instantly feet lucky to witness and be part of.
The wait is over. It’s all Creeper, all the time, maximum volume, total performance, no punches pulled, no holds barred, full tilt rock and roll. And we needed it so badly.
Photos & Review by Alex Davyd