Leeds University students always win at that game of ‘which famous people went to my uni’. While Cambridge may have Stephen Fry and Bristol have James Blunt (oh what pride) we always have something special in the bag, ready to whip out in case of emergencies. Leeds Medical School’s finest, Dr. Harold Shipman. Booya.
Another Leeds alum is Victoria Hesketh. She got a first in Cultural Studies (is that even a thing?) and wrote her dissertation about Jamie Cullum. Lately she’s been writing music as Little Boots, and came to the Cockpit to play some of it for us on the last night of the Automatic Lovers tour.
Blog darlings and Leeds locals Heads We Dance open the show. They make a lovely disco-synthy-drummy sort of noise that warms the expanding crowd to their collective cockles. These guys are well worth a look, if only so that in 6 or so months time you can act all blasé and say “Oh yeah, I’ve known about those guys for a while. I think I liked them better before they got big.” You will sound like a twat, but it will feel so good.
Co-headliners Heartbreak prefer their disco slightly more italo-flavoured, combining rippling synths, proudly worn 80s inspirations and New Order-esque basslines. As Ali Renault nods intently behind an impressive bank of keyboards, samplers and other assorted technical hillclappery, Argentine front man Sebastian Muravchix flails around like a man possessed, bringing the crowd to the boil nicely and completely freaking out the fairly conspicuous characters in the audience who were only there because they saw Little Boots on Jools Holland.
And so to Little Boots, obviously the act most anticipated by the Cockpit crowd. After parting ways with her old band Dead Disco, she began to carve a solo path, and tented many a pair of skinny jeans with the Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) produced dancey pop peach ‘Stuck On Repeat’. If you haven’t heard the remix of this track by elusive genius Fake Blood, I strongly recommend you change that sharpish. Also worth a look are her acoustic covers of happy hardcore songs on YouTube.
Highlights of her magnificent set are ‘Maths’, ‘Stuck on Repeat’ and a cover of disco innovator Georgio Moroder’s ‘Love Kills’ which features a proper Brian May style solo from Miss Boots on “one of those keyboards you hold like a guitar”.
This disco revival thing looks set to be 2009’s very own new rave. Erol Alkan has already given it his seal of approval, and he doesn’t tend to get things wrong. Expect Primark to come out with a range of sparkly stuff and t-shirts with prints of wolves howling at the moon and whatnot. By this time next year at least one of tonight’s bands will be huge. My money’s on Little Boots, and I reckon ‘Click’ will be her ‘I bet you look good on the dance floor’. Only time will tell…