The Sunshine Underground (Live Review)

It was clear that from the confusion of others in the crowd outside Leed’s own Crash records, that no one knew what to expect from a self advertised free gig, hosted by none other than local legends The Sunshine Underground, in a space no bigger than your nan’s front room. However the thing that was unanimous within everyone’s mind that night, was the boys weren’t going to disappoint.

Confused looks were exchanged between the drenched elite, eagerly waiting to see what was actually going to happen once they shuffled inside the tiny shop, and the passing pensioners, huffing in annoyance at the line of youths blocking the entrance to the scope charity shop next door. After what seemed like an hours, (but was actually just enough time to contract pneumonia, and send one socially awkward member of the que into a frenzy, which he unleashed on a passing Christian…) the owner began filing in the crowd, a puzzled look, no doubt accompanied by thoughts of health and safety sanctions, played across his face, as the soggy 50 made their way downstairs. We were greeted by the musical equivalent of Josef Fritzls basement. Bare, grey and dull, except for the bands instruments tucked away under the stairs, looking like Harry Potter had got together a Dance band. Of course in such a confined space, there was alot of fan to band mingling going on, with the band signing, and handing out t shirts as if their careers depended on it.

Several agonisingly sweaty minutes later the band manoeuvred their way to the ‘’front’’ and the ‘’gig’’ officially began. Opening with newie ‘’No Ones Coming To Save You’’, the room opened up, their anthemic mix of DFA and Blur hooks creating a sense of euphoria and elation not usually found anywhere outside much, much bigger venues. The cowbell infused, Duran Duran funk of ‘’In Your Arms’’ suited the atmosphere much better. A snake hipped, bass heavy new wave affair, perfect for the sweaty intimacy of the club environment. Of course Borders, Put You In Your Place and Commercial Breakdown got an airing, if not just to appease the testosterone fuelled crowd, trying their best to avoid standing on the bands toes. Just as quick as it came about it was over, with TSU front man Craig telling the crowd ‘’I don’t think we can legally hold you here any longer’’, but making up for the gig’s abruptness by inviting everyone for a drink. The Sunshine Underground are a band always on the cusp of being a great cult band, or simply greatness itself, meeting both sides of the spectrum somewhere completely down the middle. However it’s evident from the smiles on the faces of the band and fans alike that night, that neither care, it’s obviously alot more exciting this way.

Joe Thresh