Review by JMMPhotos BY Paul McWilliams
Nestled within the confines of Oporto in Leeds lies a hidden gem of live music space, perhaps one of the smallest but undoubtedly most intimate venues I’ve encountered. The room, accommodating a modest 120 people, was so snug that attendees were practically rubbing shoulders, creating an electric closeness that added an extra dimension to the experience.
The main event of the evening was The Velvet Hands, a band that wasted no time in hitting the audience with an onslaught of hard-hitting tracks. Seamlessly mixing old favourites with tunes from their latest album, the opening strains of the title track, “Sucker Punch,” set the tone for an evening of relentless energy.
Lead vocalist’s captivating melodies resonated through the venue, reminiscent of the raw power found in the singer from Editors, exuding an infectious energy that had the crowd hanging onto every lyric. The band’s high-octane performance was a testament to their punk influences, delivering a non-stop barrage of music that left no room for dull moments.
Despite a hiccup with the kick pedal towards the end of the set, The Velvet Hands powered through without missing a beat. Their resilience only added to the raw authenticity of the performance, demonstrating their commitment to delivering a memorable show regardless of technical glitches.
What truly set this band apart was their ability to engage the audience. As the night progressed, the crowd became an integral part of the performance, culminating in spirited participation during the final song, creating a palpable synergy between the band and the audience.
The setlist was a rollercoaster of their best tracks, including “I Don’t Mind,” “Telephone Love,” and “Sick of Living,” each song contributing to the dynamic atmosphere that permeated the room. Their versatility shone through with “Holiday in My Head” and “This Feeling,” displaying a range that kept the audience enthralled from start to finish.
The Velvet Hands are undeniably a band to keep an eye on. Their unwavering passion and fervour for their craft, coupled with their ability to captivate a room and maintain an electric atmosphere even in the face of technical mishaps, mark them as a force to be reckoned with in the music scene.
In conclusion, The Velvet Hands’ performance at Oporto in Leeds was nothing short of spectacular. Their raw energy, high-octane sound, and unwavering dedication to their craft made for an unforgettable night of live music that left the crowd craving more.
I Don’t Mind
40 up/40 Down
I Wanna be There
Holiday in my Head
Don’t be nice to me
Sick of living
Back on a winner