Good Shoes: Cockpit, Leeds; Friday, March 23

Angular Londoners not ready for northern welcome

“You bastard,” mumbles Good Shoes’ singer Rhys after taking a pint pot to the head during opener ‘Nazanin’, “that hurt.” Moments later, a stagediving fan whacks his mic stand into his face. Suddenly, Rhys looks more intimidated than excited by the sold-out throng of crowdsurfing, “Yorkshire”-chanting nutters bouncing before his band. And, from here on in, his stage demeanour is that of a nervous teenager rather than a chart-goosing indie-pop star. It’s not the most promising of starts.


What with ‘Never Meant To Hurt You’ hitting the Top 40, and tonight (like much of the tour) way oversubscribed, it looks like RazorMaximoChiefs indie ubiquity beckons. However, while ‘All In My Head’ rattles around with passable jerk-pop abandon, and singer Rhys spits a gritty suburban tale like Alex Turner’s posh, nerdy cousin on ‘Morden’, these moments of genuine limb-flailing, shoutalong excitement are few and far between. Too often, like on ‘Sophia’ and ‘In The City’, killer tunes are substituted for Gang Of Four angular-ness. And it’s boring.


Good Shoes sound like a million other new wave art-school bands – particularly, The Futureheads, but without their skill and charm. “I think I could do better,” chirps Rhys on ‘Photos On My Wall’. Too right, mate.


Rick Martin