Live Review: Weekend Recovery / Pulverise / Avenoir / Heartsink – The Key Club, Leeds, UK, 29th September 2018

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Weekend Recovery / Pulverise / Avenoir / Heartsink

The Key Club, Leeds, UK - 29th September 2018

Once more we are crossing the Pennines to head into Leeds, this of course means that we inevitably get lost in the city’s ridiculous one way system, but it’s worth it every frustrating minute of the journey as tonight The Key Club is hosting the launch of Weekend Recovery‘s stunning In The Mourning EP. The venue is perfectly located near a series of pubs, a record shop and a taco outlet, which to me is pretty much a perfect combination of elements for any day out in a city, the other thing that strikes me about the venue is that it’s a flashback to the nightclubs and venues of my youth. A local source informs me that The Key Club has risen from the ashes of a truly awful nightclub and has been transformed from it’s inglorious past to it’s current matt black sweaty basement glory, which as far as I’m concerned is just as a live venue should be.

York quartet Heartsink take the stage as we arrive, the extravagantly haired frontman  checks everyone is here before they launch into heavyweight pop punk that’s from the gruff side of the tracks. The long running pop punk act are celebrating their tenth anniversary, whilst they might have drawn the short straw for the early opening slot, which means they are playing to a sparsely populated venue, it doesn’t stop them giving it their all. Heartsink deliver a short charged set, one that includes some fresh material, that makes for a promising start to an evening that will is building towards a celebration of the launch of Weekend Recovery‘s In The Mourning EP. 

The Key Club is steadily warming and filling up and after a brief changeover we get local trio Avenoir who take the stage with no fanfare or introduction and just let their music do the talking. The dark and stormy trio deliver a heavyweight grunge influenced sound that vocally channels the spirit of Glenn Danzig and Joey ‘Shithead’ Keithley, praise that I don’t hand out lightly. Avenoir provide an impressive soundtrack that is borne of the dark side of the punk and alternative scenes, something that makes them a band I’d recommend catching live if you’re tastes are embedded in punks dark underbelly.

Tonight is not just one launch show but two as Pulverise are celebrating the release of their debut album, Chaos Games, by the time they take the stage there’s a distinct buzz around The Key Club as the local self styled party core quintet launch into a set that brings a different element to the bill with a sound that channels Rage Against The Machine and the best elements of hardcore and rapcore into a heavyweight set. The band are fronted by their arresting singer Jojo, she is the focus of attention and engages the crowd whilst the band focus on delivering a heavyweight set that brings a hard edged party soundtrack, one that includes a stunning heavyweight mash up of Cypress Hill’s Insane In The Brain and When The Shit Goes Down, that has the crowd amped up perfectly for the arrival of Weekend Recovery.

On any other night this would have a headline stealing set as Pulverise were stunning tonight, but tonight is Weekend Recovery’s night. They steadily take the stage whilst the bass and drums hammer out a beat that sets the stage for a night celebrating the release of one of my favourite releases from 2019, the superb In The Mourning EP. From the start the charged punk rock ‘n roll of Don’t Try And Stop Me, Turn It Around and Oh Jenny tells you that tonight’s set is going to be something special. Weekend Recovery are taking no prisoners tonight every track is delivered at full tilt with the band pausing only to take shots that are provided by the crowd, something else that adds to the party atmosphere in The Key Club.

The sound and atmosphere in The Key Club is perfect, tonight is one of those shows where everything has just come together for a prefect headline storm from one the UK’s best unsigned punk bands. There are obvious comparisons to The Distillers, L7 or a turbocharged version of The Runaways but there is so much more to Weekend Recovery than that. Tonight they sound every bit as charged as they did at their triumphant appearance at this years Rebellion Festival and you get the impression that Weekend Recovery are a band that have well and truly come into their own. Tonight’s featured every track from their latest release and a healthy selection from their back catalogue to deliver a perfect set to an enthusiastic crowd.

Tonight’s set was preceded by a fine trio of support acts, including a stunning performance by Pulverise who were having the own launch party for their debut album. Tonight saw Weekend Recovery becoming steadily more frantic as they built towards an impressive climax that went beyond the curfew. Weekend Recovery sounded even more vital and raw than they have been in the previous shows I’ve witnessed by them, maybe there was something in the air, maybe it was the combination of two launch parties and the good natured crowd or maybe it was the perfect setting and sound in The Key Club, whatever the reason tonight was a night when I can say you should have been here.

Weekend Recovery‘s website can be found here and their Facebook page is here

Pulverise‘s Facebook page is here and their Bandcamp is here

Avenoir‘s Facebook page is located here

Heartsink‘s website is here

Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here and you can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images