Friday, 24 February 2012

The Leisure Society, The Grand Theatre, Clitheroe

Following the somewhat scathing review of The Leisure Society's Norwich gig, I thought it only fair that the blog offered an alternative view...

Clitheroe? Where's that then? Tucked away in deepest darkest Lancashire, probably close to nowhere you know. The Grand Theatre turned out to be a lovely little venue, simultaneously old yet modern, mainly standing and well laid out (short arses like me managed to get a decent view, regardless of where we were standing.)

Variously described as folk pop, baroque or chamber pop, the Leisure Society do a nice line in melodic, multi instrumental, catchy (yet surprisingly complex) tunes. I first heard them played in Fopp, Manchester and when I got home downloaded everything of theirs I could find. I had no idea what they looked like, whether they were old or young or whether I'd like anything beyond the few songs I'd heard whilst browsing. I wasn't disappointed though and risked driving my family mad by playing them endlessly for the next few months. And here's the thing; my six year old loves them and so do my parents. Their wide appeal is entirely deserved; they do what they do so well that it's almost intuitively right, writing and performing catchy, melodic songs with just a hint of melancholy.

The fact I like them so much meant they had a lot to live up to, live. The Clitheroe audience reflected the band's broad appeal and was also enjoyably eccentric. As it turns out, I thought the band were better live than listened to at home. Their live performance gives their beautifully crafted songs an extra kick up the rear. A polite kick, but a kick nonetheless. They're not exactly exuberant on stage but they do engage with the audience and were sufficiently good humoured and affable when they did.

Seeing a band I love always makes me regret being about as musical as your average hens' egg; it makes me want to have a go myself. For the sake of all your ears I won't, but that's what good music should do, it should move you in some way, get you thinking, dancing, singing along or learning to play. Well that's how it was for me at the Leisure Society bash. I had a great time.

I know detractors have called Leisure Society twee or "a bit radio 2." On the contrary, I think we all need a little more joy in our lives. To me, they are the sound of joy. A fantastic night and an awful lot of fun. 


1 comment:

  1. I have to agree wholeheartedly. To be honest I had never heard of them before. My wife has an alternative taste in music, and is a huge fan, She pretty much dragged me to the gig, but I am now a convert and have seen the error of my ways.

    Long live Leisure.