LIVE REVIEW >> Lisbon – Oporto, Leeds

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LISBON, THE HUBBARDS, VICTORS
Oporto, Leeds // Wednesday, May 18

Whitley Bay four-piece LISBON kick off their latest UK tour with a return to our favourite bar in Leeds, introducing a slight change of direction with a bigger, heavier sound. These boys have riffs. Lots of them.

But first, opening the show are Leeds guitar-pop lot VICTORS. With a nicely polished 1975 vibe, the four-piece triumph with finely-crafted tunes packed with vivacious melodies and proper sing-along pop sensibilities. In a world filling up with similar acts keen to emulate the Manchester stars’ sound, this lot nicely rise above the rest.

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Hull indie rockers THE HUBBARDS offer up a sturdy racket, a charge of jagged indie rock and punk swagger. There’s intricate hooks, captivating vocals and tight-as-hell percussion. They’re quite a force on stage, despite their more modest demeanour in front of a pretty lively crowd.

After five months away, Lisbon are back with some bangers. Their opening gambit tonight is new tune West, a riff-tastic statement of intent. As with recent single Shark, which is a huge highlight of very resolute set, West is full of vitality, as driving guitars whisk us away from the shimmering indie-pop we’ve grown to love. But this booming opener is no less joyous.

Frustrated and disillusioned with their experiences of the music industry, the foursome have gone back to basics to create a fresh, focused sound which they say is a more honest approach to their song writing. This new-found freedom of expression sees them eschewing what they think is expected of them in favour of what really makes them tick.

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We’re given a taste of this with three new tunes tonight and, although there’s still the funk, with cowbells and percussion fizzing beneath the fuller guitars, the tunes tonight seem to have more authority and the band seem to be having more fun.

Lisbon’s Frontman Matty’s recently-broken hand fails to restrain their riff party and the tunes come thick and fast, bursting from a strobe-filled stage to meet choruses excitedly sang back to the Whitley Bay boys.

It’s a pleasure to have Lisbon back in Leeds – and a real thrill to see them taking the reigns and rocking out like the best of them. Keep up to date with all things Lisbon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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