Down in the basement of coffee shop/bar The Cookie in Leicester city centre is a tiny venue, with an astonishing sound and lighting system that makes great use of the space. Since The Charlotte closed down there has been a lack of 14+ venues in the Leicester area, but The Cookie serves this purpose well.
First up on Saturday night were the alt-rockers Wallflower, a group of five from South London. They started on a slow instrumental to introduce themselves. Right away it was clear that between them they were well rehearsed, and their timing was solid. However at first, it felt like the vocals were competing over the rest of the group, particularly as there were three guitars, but this was soon rectified. It did feel like three guitars was too much in some places. In the last track, the vocalist was having some issues with his guitar that were not obvious to the audience until he took it off, however the balance was a lot better with just two guitars and his part wasn’t missed.
Wallflower have great stage presence, but didn’t interact with the audience much. They had great instrumental seaways between songs, but the backing vocals let them down a little bit as they weren’t always in tune with the lead vocals. Wallflower could be seen later in the show in the crowd supporting Decade. Overall they played a solid set, providing a good first support act to warm the crowd up.
Next up were Big Spring, also from London. The bassist took his shirt off before the show even started, the room wasn’t warm though so clearly he was just trying to show off. It didn’t add anything to the performance whatsoever.
Just like Wallflower, the guitars overpowered the vocals at first. The vocalist had an impressive range; his lower tones sounded like Dave Grohl whereas his falsetto could rival Matt Bellamy. In some tracks there were clearly huge Radiohead influences too.
Big Spring are more cheerful than Wallflower, and are very riff based, with a few more indie and pop influences. This makes them different to most rock bands. The vocal harmonies were also great, they weren’t too overpowering. They interacted well with the audience and they had a great mix of heavier and more commercial songs in their set.
Finally, on came Decade, who had an incredibly polished performance right from the start. They had great stage presence and chatted to the audience in between songs, clearly enjoying themselves. They repeatedly praised their support acts, who could be seen in the audience too. Decade had a much more positive crowd reaction than Big Spring or Wallflower.
They played a mix of material from Good Luck and Pleasantries; the older material from Good Luck was more pop-punk based whereas the material from Pleasantries was more alternative, which still retaining Decade‘s individual sound. The interesting basslines provided a solid foundation for guitars and vocals. The newer material was much more dynamic than the old, however clearly there were crowd favourites from Good Luck, which clearly had influences from Yellowcard and A Day To Remember. Thrown into the mix was some indie too, proving that Decade are a very versatile band.
When Decade announced that it was their final song, the crowd sighed: they didn’t want the set to be over. Decade had saved the best for last, however, and ended on Daisy May.