“All your favourite bands are dead, and I think they know it. Don’t need no reunion tour to see that they know it” sang Johnny Foreigner on All Yr Favourite Bands Are Dead, referencing the recent splurge of bands reforming. The Birmingham four-piece continue “No new songs, we’ll just play the old ones. But we’ll call it a great come-back, because we all want our past back”. That’s the driving force behind this spike, isn’t it? Nostalgia. The same can be said for shows where acts play albums in full, and it’s the reason why I’m skeptical about them. Surely the beauty of a gig is in the unexpected? The speculation of whether they will play THAT song, and the exhilaration if they do. So heading into Lemuria’s Leeds’ show at Headrow House, on a tour where they’d been playing 2008’s Get Better in full, I was uncertain about how it was going to turn out.
Support for the New York band tonight comes from DIY punk mainstays Colour Me Wednesday – who have been accompanying Lemuria on all their UK dates. The Uxbridge five-piece are on fine form, rattling through tracks from last year’s Anyone and Everyone EP and 2013’s I Thought It Was Morning with sumptuous gusto and energy. It feels like Colour Me Wednesday are having fun – and their set, which bristles with pop-punk energy, really resonates with those present. Tonight is the third time I’ve seen Colour Me Wednesday in the space of a few months, and they’ve been better each time. It seems inevitable that before long, they will be headlining venues like Headrow House.
Lemuria’s set is a curious one. “We’re gonna play the whole of Get Better and then play some tracks at the end” announces Sheena Ozzella, before the quartet launch into an excellent rendition of album opener ‘Pants’, the crowd screaming along “I want your hands in my hair!”. The band are true to their word for the rest of the set, playing Get Better from start to finish, and they do so well. ‘Dog’, ‘Hawaiian Shirt’ and ‘Length Away’ are the standouts tonight, all three showing how great a record Get Better is and how Lemuria as an entity have honed their live performance to a tee. There is no doubting that this is a great show; the songs are excellent, as are Lemuria and the crowd. But it’s an odd sensation knowing exactly what’s coming next. It’s a reminder of how good Lemuria are, and how much of a fantastic record Get Better is – but it’s a show that lacks the exhilaration of something unexpected.