Gig Review :: Polar Bear Club – The Cockpit, Leeds – 16/07/11

“In short, Polar Bear club are a great live band.”

If you’re into pop punk and haven’t heard of Polar Bear Club, then expect to soon. The Rochester, NY five-piece are close to releasing their 3rd album, Clash, Battle, Guilt, Pride, but not before a short tour of the UK, including a stop at The Cockpit in Leeds.

Watching first support bands is always awkward, you’re not sure what to expect, half the crowd hasn’t even showed up yet and the other half’s talking to friends by the bar. The stage is treated like a bio-hazard zone for some reason. To top it all off there’s a band trying their hardest to play their music and get some sort of response. Local band, Gravelines didn’t appear to be put off though, playing a pretty good set.

If I had to describe Man Overboard in one sentence, it’d probably include the words ‘slightly clichéd’ and ‘pop punk’. Not that that’s a bad thing, If it’s done well and sounds good, something which Man Overboard manage pull off well. Seeing them live, on the other hand, feels like a letdown. Their music isn’t bad but, to be honest, I could’ve just sat at home and listened to their albums, which is probably what I’ll be doing in the future.

Polar Bear Club’s set was pretty awesome, which is probably a huge understatement. With songs such as ‘Most Miserable Like’ and ‘Burned Out In A Jar’, Polar Bear Club gigs really are giant sing alongs, with a heavy dose of fist pumping. Their set is well thought out, with more rowdy songs interspaced allowing the crowd to catch their breath before being launched into the next high. In short, Polar Bear club are a great live band. New song ‘Screams In Caves’ was a nice inclusion in the set. If it’s any indication of the rest of the new record, then we’re in for a real treat.

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