Warpaint - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Bounding on stage with exuberance, Warpaint are clearly revelling in the success and plaudits their debut album, The Fool has gathered. Their name might imply some kind of raw heavy metal explosion but in reality Warpaint play in a slightly 80s, Goth-tinged style where vocals of ethereal and whispery beauty collide with bursts of sheer power as set openers, the eponymous ‘Warpaint’, and Cure-like brilliance of ‘Stars’ prove to captivating effect.
As they continue with a selection culled from EP, Exquisite Corpse and the aforementioned debut it becomes obvious that the years of hard work and struggle have been worth it; they are tight and focused and revel in the live environment. This was a consistently engaging and wonderfully downbeat (yet strangely uplifting) set with ‘Undertow’ and ‘Burgundy’ being particular high points. Whether it was the energy that were putting into their performance or maybe just the stifling heat of the Brudenell but, towards the end, it was necessary to rustle up a fan (of the air manipulating kind) for front of stage to prevent an imminent collapse. This seemed to give the band a second wind (see me later, Belton - Ed.) as they powered through a stunning finale of ‘Elephants’.
The almost obligatory encores followed but the exertions of earlier seemed to have taken their toll, with the band oddly sapped of their initial enthusiasm. That slight niggle aside this was a brilliant gig and, as their star continues to rise - as it surely must - then it is unlikely that you will get the chance to see Warpaint in such cosy surroundings for much longer. Grab that chance while you still can.