Cage The Elephant @ Brixton Academy, 20/1/17

Friday night was a huge occasion for the students of Leeds as exam season mercifully screeched to a halt. As pictures pop up of drunken Fruity and bug eyed High Rise goers I can categorically say my night was better than all of them.

Declan McKenna kicked off proceedings in Brixton academy with his signature storytelling that thoroughly convinced an unknowing crowd that he earned the right to be on that stage. More of a double whammy than a support, he is right to carry himself with cocky confidence.

Enough time for a piss and a pint before the modest Spring King walked on stage. With levels set by a seemingly deaf soundman, I was gunning for gold but got bronze. Nevertheless, they still managed to hype up the indie crowd sufficiently before Cage came on.

The headliner’s set was so brimming with energy it could get a dead man dancing. Channelling Jagger, Matt Shultz led the crowd on a journey through a set that effortlessly swayed from old hits to new bangers. There was no Arctic Monkeys-esque unnatural switch between aged classics and newer tunes that can annoyingly ruin great sets.  ‘Cold, Cold, Cold’, ‘Trouble’ and ‘Mess Around’ felt just as right to have a place in the set as ‘In One Ear’, ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’ and ‘Come a Little Closer’.

‘Right Before My Eyes’ encouraged an emotionally charged singalong and ‘Teeth’ brought the mesmerizingly fast paced night to a close. Cage have broken through the awkward pubescent phase to blossom into a confident collective of musicians that can win over any crowd.  Sitting on the train back to Leeds it is clear I witnessed a show that will be talked about for years.

Ben Roberts


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