REVIEW gig Cate Le Bon Cate Le Bon, Leeds

Captivating Coolness: Cate Le Bon At Brudenell Social Club

There’s a strange ambience to the music of Cate Le Bon, an eery disjointedness that lingers. Playing in the main room of the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on a wet Wednesday 25th May, I was intrigued to see how this would come into being for a live performance.

As soon as Cate Le Bon takes to the stage with her band, the hubbub of the tightly packed crowd ceases immediately. Wearing all black, with subtle but extravagant eye make up, the foursome makes for a picture of awe. I had expected to see more vibrant attire, but the impact that the uniform of black slowly becomes clear throughout the set.

Opening with ‘Crab Day’, Le Bon and band appear on stage with a casual coolness. Whilst the sound comes together as a coherent whole, the individual components making up the band play almost entirely separately from one another. Their stage presence has something utterly captivating that is difficult to pinpoint.

It is during ‘I’m A Dirty Attic’ that the strange mystery of the Cate Le Bon becomes clear; the black uniform and the distinct areas of the stage that each member occupies creates the dynamic of something robotic. Of course, Le Bon’s vocals are far from robotic – yet, it is as if their stage presence is a deliberate attempt to recreate the disjointedness and repetitive nature of the music.

Playing a set almost an hour long, the crowd remain entirely fixated on Cate Le Bon and her band. The repetitive riffs and eclectic vocals (the band take turns with the shrill backing vocals) make for a hypnotic set. It’s a one of a kind performance, and definitely makes an impression. Nothing can compare to lengthy outro of ‘How Do You Know’; the mechanised movements of the band, nodding in unison, and playing like clockwork suspends time. I’m still completely baffled as to whether they played the same riff for two minutes or ten.

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