In an age where too many bands look like builders and shelf-stackers rolling onto the stage straight from work, it's refreshing to see one that actually looks like a band. All Fred Perry polos and smart trainers - a cohesive look for once in these bland and saccharine musical times. It's a good start.
With a great display of confidence and bravado, they open the set with an instrumental. Entitled 'The Corpse', it bounces along on a jaunty riff, swerving to the dark side now and again. The tightness and solidity of the playing is apparent immediately. They sound great.
They describe the music "like Des O'Connor shaving his legs" but really its much more appealing than that image suggests. There's a feel of Elvis and Buddy Holly with added muscles - it's a sound that sets them apart.
'The Soxpest' is a highlight; with the lyric "you have to be in early to be part of a scene", you get equal parts warning and contempt for such matters. Your foot will be tapping the whole way through. Although the venue ran out of Becks early on, the music saved the day. 'Wallace the Lion' begins cryptically before exploding into life like a hooligan sea shanty, stocked with swagger and power. It sounds somewhat like an escapee from The Coral's first album. Singer Leachy rocks from side to side - he could take a head off with the neck of that guitar.
A lot of good songs so far; but now the band plays a great one. 'Bye Bye Baby' sounds like a lost sixties classic, but is most definitely an original piece, written by the band themselves, and certainly demostrates their ability to songwrite. Any band gracing the NME these days would kill for it, and maybe they should. As another great display of their belief and ability, the group close the set with a more than capable cover of 'Bummer in the Summer' by Love, bringing Arthur Lee and his eccentric brilliance to a Sunday night in Sunderland.