Friday evening saw the much-anticipated return of Yorkshire’s very own Adore/Repel to the 360 Club at The Lending Room, their final local show of the year in support of their 2017 debut album Empty Orchestra – before heading back to the studio to work on their second album.
Adore/Repel are a band that I have been familiar with for a number of years now, being highly revered on the local scene by bands and fans alike, with their intense and emotive music taking them to various venues across the country (and beyond) over the years. Having toured both the US and Iceland since I last saw them, I was intrigued to see how they had progressed further as a live act.
One thing that I’ve always loved about this band is their commendable DIY ethic and the way in which they fuse so many genres and influences into their music, giving them a certain resilience and memorable identity when bands and venues up and down the country seem to be constantly coming and going. Their debut album Empty Orchestra was a resounding success and received almost entirely positive reviews, something seldom seen, and is a fitting testament to their unique approach and sound.
It was clear from the offset that their recent touring had done the band wonders. I always thought they were a great live act generally, but the performance on this particular night was in a league of its own. The set was as commanding and powerful as ever. However there was an even better executed sophistication to their performance that made the songs come across in a way that I hadn’t experienced before.
The energetic bursts of uplifting melody contrasting with the pounding drums and skilful minimalism created an equally intricate and chaotic wall of sound. The songs Months Ago and Secret Road, Part II showcased a band with a wonderful capacity for conveying great meaning and emotion through their music.
There are so many interesting influences going on in their output that I believe everyone will take something different away from their show. Everything from Maybeshewill through to Deftones and even Poison the Well can be heard in their sound, effortlessly evolving from delicate melodic soundscapes to ferocious hardcore tinged riffing. The spattering of vocals on offer adds momentum to the heavier moments and brings out the darker side of their multifaceted songs. I am a huge fan of bands that travel through a diverse array of styles and narratives in their music, and Adore/Repel achieve this perfectly.
The continued success and increasing fanbase of the band was clear from the reception they received from the crowd and there was a sense of tangible humility and appreciation from the 4-piece that was fantastic to see. There is no doubt that great things will happen when album number 2 surfaces and I look forward to hearing what they come up with next.
Their current album, Empty Orchestra, is available on all the usual streaming platforms.
Gary writes for Leeds Living on contemporary music, being an avid goer of gigs and a supporter of local talent.