Any Leeds local or music lover will know that a gig on a Friday night at Brudenell Social Club is always going to be a hit. With the venue having two live music spaces, it means that the place is absolutely bustling with people.
The first act of the night was Dogshow, appropriately named as both members were in dog costumes you might be more likely to find in Camden Market. Really working a rapport with the crowd, Dogshow played their set in the middle of the room with a drum on one side and a keyboard on the other. Rotating above them was a neon sign with the band’s name, so even though crowds of people were dancing around them you knew exactly who and where they were.
My notes from the support act included “Howls and woofs by audience at the end of songs”, which in itself is not something I’ve really seen at a gig before. “Dubstep” and the word “shrooms?” They were incredible, such a fun and unique band – the perfect opener for Henge.
I’ve never seen a warm up act hit the nail so perfectly on the head and do exactly that…warm up the audience so much that everyone was moving in some capacity, from casual head bops to full on jumping and raving. At one point the crowd started a conga line to the track “we’re all dogs”, and at another, people were waltzing to classical ballroom music.
After the audience had shaken loose any cobwebs, thanks to Dogshow, it was time for our headliners of the night: Henge.
As they emerged onto the stage in alien costumes, we truly were taken to another planet. Slow flashing lights imitating a space ship descending to earth captivated onlookers. Beeping and lots of ominous synth echoed through the room until the band burst into song.
A thing I absolutely love about live shows is how creative they can be. Henge are a band who thought about every element of this tour. Not surprising that the band has previously won the award for “Best Live Act” at the Independent Festival Awards, from the lighting and the little jokes onstage to the excellent costumes.
The whole set was split into different moments on a space trip, so it felt more like watching a theatre production with a brilliant soundtrack than a band playing in Burley Park Leeds.
Henge’s lead singer shouts out to the audience “Do you, like me, like adventures? Would you like to come on a space adventure tonight?” and away we went! People were so free to express themselves through dancing and singing, it made it a really special show. Tracks like Self Repair Protocol had fun elements of Ska, voice distorted microphones and Hairography from the keys player like something from a glam rock band from outer space.
As the night went on, there was pure joy from the audience as Henge treated their fans to multiple tracks from the latest release “Alpha Test Four”. Fan favourites such as “Get A Wriggle On” got great reactions whilst the lead singer had some brilliant crowd interactions.
If seeing the band playing live wasn’t a treat enough, there was also a very impressive range of merch available at the show. I’ve already mentioned how creative Henge and their team are from the shows alone, but collectables such as comic books (that had the craziest illustrations), headbands and USBs were brilliant additions to the usually expected Tshirts and Hoodies.
Overall, it was a great night. I recommend seeing both Dogshow and Henge live if you can as it was a great combination and such a refreshing atmosphere of people being lost in the music. Wonderful that it was at Brudenell as well.
Photography by Jazz Jennings.