As gig venues go, there is perhaps none more quintessentially ‘Leeds’ than the Brudenell Social Club. So its familiar interior was the perfect place to welcome home former Leeds students and electronic-duo, Maribou State. It was less a prodigal return, more a celebration of the musical journey which Chris Davids and Liam Ivory have partaken to finally play their first headline show in the city where their musical partnership first began.
The aptly-named ‘Feel Good’ opened the set – an exuberant track whisked straight off their shiny, new album, Kingdoms in Colour. We were treated to a full performance of Kingdoms in Colour, garnished with old favourites off the 2015 debut album, Portraits. Their older track, ‘The Clown’, received the most enthusiastic response, bringing the audience swooning en masse to Holly Walker’s impeccable version of the song – her vocals exactly as sultry, soaring and precise as the studio recording. ‘Turnmills’ was another big hit, with its sounds fluttering between ethereal choral notes, and a yearning string melody, underpinned by an urgent bassline that compels you to move, get out, travel and explore.
I have always felt that Maribou State’s talent lies in capturing that sweet-spot between a contemplative ambience that verges on melancholy and a vigorous dynamism. This new album has reached a whole other level of celebratory energy. The beats that make you want to boogie are there. The influences from their previous tour, which took them all the way to Asia, are definitely there. The sounds that filled the Brudenell were the kind that make you nostalgic for some exotic destination you have never even been to. Yet a Maribou State gig is far more affordable alternative than a ticket to the other side of the world.
Header Image Credit: Unnamed Photographer from inSYNC