Friday, May 16, 2003

The Hidden Cameras

Leeds Cockpit 15/05/03

My, isn't Leeds posh these days? We marvelled at the centre, which has clearly had loads of money pumped into it. I'd only been once before, years ago for a day's shopping, and I didn't remember there being so many grand buildings and squares. Everything seems to have been scrubbed clean. Our car park (which was conveniently right across the road from the Cockpit) was brand new, all gleaming white with sleek ticket machines and not a whiff of wee in the lifts.

Speaking of wee, the Hidden Cameras opened their set with "golden streams", but not before Joel had announced "Hi, we're the Hidden Cameras...and no, we don't have SARS."

I'd been promised by Brian that they would be a revelation live, and he wasn't wrong. Although I guessed that they didn't have their usual large scale entourage, the band was fleshed out nicely with an electric cello, violin, xylophone, bass, drums, guitars and various vintage synths. The band were amazingly versatile too, with everyone swapping instruments round on a regular basis.

They played most of the songs off "The Smell of Our Own" including a fabulous 'n feisty version of "Ban Marriage" as well as what seemed to be a couple of new numbers, including a brilliant drawn out finale with lots of guitar and lots of "heys" - they seem to be fond of those! They even allowed the two guys from the opening band (I believe they were a local group called the Hipsters, and they were really awful) onstage to help out with percussion - which they still managed to f*&k up! I had to smile as I saw them being gently chided by the cellist for starting with the jingle bells too early.

Afterwards, I'd had enough bitter to reflect that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to say hi to Joel, but the right moment never arrived. Sure, I could have nabbed one of the other members we saw milling around afterwards, but it felt too cheesy and I just couldn't do it. In the end, we decided to pass on the headliners (Sleepy Jackson) and take advantage of the early finish to make the journey back to Manchester before we got too tired.

The Hidden Cameras still have some dates left - if there's one near you, you should really go.

May 17th BEDFORD, Esquires

May 18th CARDIFF, Barfly

May 19th PORTSMOUTH, Wedgewood Rooms

May 20th LONDON, Scala

May 22nd CAMBRIDGE, Boat Race

May 23rd LEICESTER, Princess Charlotte

May 24th SHEFFIELD, Leadmill

May 25th NOTTINGHAM, Rescue Rooms

June 2nd LONDON, ICA, the Heavy Flow of Evil show w/ Royal City


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