First Aid Kit // The Wardrobe, Leeds // LIVE // 28.02.12
Playing in a packed out underground room in the city of Leeds, First Aid Kit put on a solid and enjoyable performance. For those who aren't familiar with the band, it consists of two Swedish siblings; Johanna and Klara, who were joined on stage for parts of the gig by a friend playing percussion.
Despite a tentative start, after a few songs the girls settled in and begun to produce perfectly harmonious vocals, showcasing their vast talent and vocal range. After two songs the girls introduced themselves with humility at being back in Leeds, a city they haven't played in for a while.
The set continued, with the song 'Emmylou', played with all the charm and passion of the recorded track, but enhanced by a powerful and reverberating drumbeat from the low ceilings of the room. A song dedicated to their heroes and idols, it was easy to feel the fervour through their singing.
The energy coming from the two girls began to spread into the crowd, with more upbeat tracks played such as 'Heavy Storm' and 'To a Poet' which had an almost anthemic feel to it. These limbered people up, creating atmosphere which was furthered still when the track 'Ghost Town' was sung without microphones, prompting the audience to join in. By now it was easy to see the growing enthusiasm of the crowd, for the applause following the end of every song was as if it was the last. Equally, the girls were clearly relaxed and enjoying themselves, becoming noticeable more mobile on stage.
Further displays of gratitude ensued; the girls thanked the support act Samantha Crain who had previously toured with them in the US as well as The Knife who helped to release their first EP.
Back to the set and 9/10 songs from new album 'The Lions Roar' were played, which had a definite feel of something bigger, bolder and had a louder sound which adds extra dimensions to their repertoire. This variety is personified in the song ’I Met Up With The King' which was played with a good balance between aggressive passion and understated, stripped back vocals.
The perfect end to the set materialized in the title track of the album- 'The Lions Roar' which was layered well and built up to a powerful, 'roaring' crescendo. The set finished with a lengthy and genuine round of applause for the duo who had sung their hearts out, playing a by no means meagre 14 songs. The inevitable encore was thus welcomed with open arms. A cover of Patti Smith's 'Dancing Bear Foot' and a slightly uninspiring 'King of The World' rounded off proceedings. Not to say it's a bad song, but it didn't feel like a track worthy of ending a set, compared to some of the more lively songs that had been played across the night.
Overall the gig was pleasant and showcased the best of what they have to offer.
- This Old Routine
- Hard Believer
- In The Hearts Of Men
- Heavy Storm
- New Year's Eve
- Ghost Town
- To A Poet
- When I Grow Up
- Dance To Another Tune
- I Met Up With The King
- The Lions Roar
- Dancing Bear Foot (Cover of Patti Smith)
- King of The World