Circa Waves: The Wardrobe, Leeds, 8th November
“People just wanna jump around and have a laugh” is what Circa Waves drummer Sian told me in advance of this, their biggest tour to date. Indeed, this is a truth nowhere more evident than here in this crowded basement venue. The room is packed with punters young and old(er) whose utmost desire tonight is to do just that. In fact, it was done with such chaotic energy that one girl ended up with a broken foot, so I hear.
Although support Public Access TV are impressive, it seems everyone is itching for Circa Waves so they can let the proper moshing commence. Once the band mount the stage, all it takes is for a few notes of the intro to ‘Young Chasers’ and the front half of the crowd has already descended into a mass of enthusiastically leaping bodies and flailing arms. Ten seconds later, a mosh pit has begun and I feel, with a great sense of nostalgia, that I am seeing something very special.
I say ‘with a great sense of nostalgia’ as this show, to me, was imbued with the sense for two reasons. 1. Because there is an innate nostalgia in Circa Waves’ boisterous, melodic garage-rock. Suddenly, I feel the room I am in is actually a time machine which has transported me back to the noughties, this being how I imagine a performance from the golden days of noisy indie rock. And 2. Because I remember with an inward smile when I was 15 and one of those eager, incessantly bobbing heads, pumping my fists, embracing rock n roll with fresh-faced youthfulness. That wasn’t that long ago, but it is refreshing to see people’s faith in guitar music on such clear display.
There is not a single point in the gig where the energy of the crowd dissipates. It was nothing short of incredible to hear the room bursting with their impassioned singing of the lyrics to ‘So Long’ and ‘Good for Me’. Tonight proves that Circa Waves’ quest to inspire a true fan base has certainly been a success.
Their set sounds immaculate, and they definitely repay their crowds exertion through their own, surging their way around the stage. Truly, it is a whole lot of feel-good fun and gleeful revelry. Granted, there isn’t anything original to be seen here, no reinvention of the wheel. Rather, Circa Waves are driving a tried and tested wheel right into 2014, with great confidence and rollicking style, bringing pure joy to the hearts of many a gig-goer with their clean, punchy guitar tunes.