Young Legionnaire are awesome.
I can only speak for myself, but when Thursday night came around I was not in the mood for a gig. Manchester Orchestra the night before had left me feeling a little bit flat (through no fault of the band) and I wasn't feeling that gig itch that I usually have on the go.
Plus, if you looked outside your window at any point in the day, you'll have realised that the weather was disgusting.
But I pulled out my winter coat and off we went.
You can see where this story is going, of course.
It kind of felt like gig nights back when I was in Uni, when me and my friend Ian would turn up to tiny venues with crowds so small that you could hear the support act cough. I leaned against the bar with Nick, sharing pleasantries with the gig loner next to us whenever Nick frequented visited the toilet. The vibe was friendly, relaxed, and this was even before the band came on.
I should tell you that Young Legionnaire are a combination of Gordon Moakes (Bloc Party and bass God), Paul Mullen (yourcodenameis:Milo and The Automatic) and a dopey, blonde drummer. But, as we discussed, knowing this gives you false pre-conceptions of exactly what Young Legionnaire should and will sound like.
For example, I wondered if it might dishearten the band that they were playing to a half empty room. Not at all. They beckoned us forward and played as if it was a sell-out. If anything, it meant they were more comfortable to laugh and joke around with the crowd, gaining an even more affectionate response from some pretty hardcore fans.
The Manchester Orchestra gig had knocked my faith a little. It angered me that people were so happy to talk over a band that they had paid good money to see. The gig was a sell out, but it had all the atmosphere of a lame Tuesday club night, mid semester, when your deadlines are coming up and you know you shouldn't be out.
But Young Legionnaire just picked me right up again. I went in with low expectations, feeling damp and a bit lacklustre. I came out feeling thoroughly rocked, as if the music had penetrated my bones leaving me energised and invigorated.