The sight of a half empty Brudenell is enough to make the most swaggering of indie rockers quake in their Chelsea boots. Crocodiles, however, seem seasoned enough to take this in their stride but fail to transform a drizzly Wednesday night in Leeds into anything resembling a rowdy San Diego punk gig.
They bring together a well-honed blend of lush melodies and scuzzy guitar sounds but sadly, it all feels a little cold. The California twosome barely acknowledge their audience and look less than chuffed to be on stage, making for a performance that doesn’t pack much of a punch. The band seem to have lost sight of the energy and attitude that give their sleazy brand of rock‘n’roll its appeal. The crowd too appear to miss their grimy edge, keeping their distance from the stage and hardly breaking out of anything more than a civilised wave of head nodding.
In spite of their unexpectedly passionless delivery, the band do supply some undeniably great songs. During the unashamed arrogance of ‘Neon Jesus’ and the dizzy dreaminess of ‘Mirrors’, the audience are reminded of why they braved the rain. These older tracks are interspersed with the more poppy sounds of their most recent album Crimes of Passion. This balance, however, is not enough to distract from their tepid delivery.
As I start to contemplate necking my pint and heading for the exit, the band pull it back somewhat with their last song. In a finale that makes liberal use of the dry ice budget, both guitarists turn their backs to the crowd and do what we all came to see them do – make a hell of a noise. Tonight may not have been their finest hour, but their exit proves that Crocodiles may not have lost their bite just yet.