30 Oct 2015

All Years Leaving : Kagoule, Chastity Belt and Speedy Ortiz in Birmingham (live review)

Birmingham’s annual all years leaving festival was held over the 22nd and 23rd at the hare and hounds pub by DIY and This Is Tmrw. This year the main headliners were The Wytches on the Friday and East India Youth on the Saturday. 

I was only able to go for part of the Friday night, but I was incredibly lucky to see three of my favourite bands; Kagoule, Chastity Belt and Speedy Ortiz. All three bands were amazing (as expected), and it was brilliant to see them in a relatively small venue.     

Kagoule were the first band I saw and they kicked things off with Adjust The Way, a song that the band have been playing for a while. The event was 18+ which meant that the crowd were quite still throughout. Next were Glue and Gush, also quite early songs that feature on debut record Urth. The band sounded very united; they still have their grungey edge but more mature than when I last saw them in July. Kagoule unveiled a new song called Pharmacy towards the end of the set which included all the energy of the songs on Urth but with more complicated guitar riffs and a slightly tighter sound. They ended on It Knows It which made for a very rounded and positive finish to their set.Personally I felt that Kagoule would work better with a younger,more responsive audience seeing as all three band members had a lot of energy that wasn’t reciprocated by the majority of the crowd, but it was a great set nonetheless.

Chastity Belt played next,opening with Drone from their second album Time To Go Home. This song created a very promising atmosphere for the rest of their set as they sounded brilliant filling the whole room with an undeniable excitement. Like the album order, Trapped was second in the set followed by Cool Slut. Both songs sounded great with a sense of angst coming through heavily.After Lydia, Chastity Belt played a new song which left anticipation for the release of new material in the near future. The song had a similar sound to the tracks off Time To Go Home with a very upbeat tempo, but less anger than some of the songs on No Regerts for example. The penultimate song was Time To Go Home which deserved a much greater response than it received. Finally Chastity Belt played Joke, and like the rest of the set all the girls didn’t hold back on anything. The set was reasonably short and sadly didn’t include any songs off their first album,but even so it was really good. I’m hoping they play again soon because they are definitely one of the best live bands I have seen.

The last band I saw were Speedy Ortiz which, like Chastity Belt, was a quite surreal experience. Tiger Tank was first in the set, and it was crazy. Sadie looked incredible wearing blue lipstick and her voice sounded just as amazing.Casper-1995 followed which was beautiful, all the guitars flowed together perfectly and the whole room was filled with a sense of calm happiness. From new album Foil Deer, The Graduates and Raising The Skate were next, both of which are destined to be anthemic songs in Speedy Ortiz’s repertoire due to the singalong choruses and catchy riffs.There is a good balance between songs off their first and second album with the next three songs being Puffer,Zig and Plough. Mister Difficult was a highlight for me because it really showcases their lyrical ability which is quite underrated by many.After Mister Difficult, they played Silver Spring a really early song from the 2012 Sports EP which showed how the band have grown and developed over the years. The opening to Swell Content certainly caught the attention of the mature crowd as it was full of energy and excitement. The set was closed with Pioneer Spine and Ka-Prow which ended the night on a definite high. I never thought I’d be able to see Speedy Ortiz let alone in such an intimate venue, and in my opinion they played incredibly. 

The line up was absolutely insane and featured all brilliant bands. I think it was a shame that the gig was 18+, however it was a great experience anyway. Overall, three excellent bands that I think deserve a lot more recognition for their talent.