So Heavens' album, Patent Pending didn't get much love on here, which I personally disagree with. I thought the album was pretty decent but not as good as I was expecting, since i had been told it would sound a lot like Interpol, who I love but instead it sounded like Alkaline Trio on a comedown. Anyways, this was only the band's second ever show and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. The electronic soundscapes and layering of vocals would likely fall flat on its arse in a live setting. Unfortunately, i'll never know if that's true or not as Heavens are a completely different proposition live than they are on record.
There were two support bands, the first a local band called Missin' a Bit and they were, to put it bluntly, absolute gash. A trio of spotty teenagers who couldn't quite believe their luck that they'd got such a great support slot. Seriously, these kids were like deers caught in headlights and their attempts at stage banter were flat out laughable. Check out some of their turdburgers here. The other support band were English indie types 5 O'Clock Heroes, who sounded like an even shittier Razorlight, if that's possible.
Anyway, with that bag of arse out the way we were now ready to see Matt Skiba in the Cathouse for the first time in 5 years. The venue holds maybe 200 people and it was almost full with a mostly older crowd, which was refreshing for one of these types of show. The band, which consisted of two guitars, bass and keys came on first and played the instrumental "Doves," which was drowned out entirely by the crowd chanting "Skiba! Skiba!" which made me feel kinda sorry for the guys and gal in the band. Nevertheless, Matt Skiba came on to thunderous applause and the band then started "Another Night," one of the highlights of the album. Immediately I noticed the difference in how full the song sounded, which continued throughout the rest of the set. The songs sounded so much better being played by a full band and Skiba's vocals sounded a lot less bored than on the album, with him even busting out a few of his old-school yelps on a couple of faster tracks. Out of sequence the band played the entire album, closing the set with a much spikier rendition of their first single, "Patent Pending," which the crowd went batshit for, and then finished off, appropriately, with "Leave."
The unexpected highlight of the set for me was their cover of the Stone Roses' "I Wanna Be Adored," which was absolutely bloody spectacular. The original is a great song but Ian Brown's vocals are so monotonous that I can't bring myself to truly love it. However, should Heavens ever actually record this, it'll be a fantastic cover. Skiba's vocals suited the melancholy, pseudo-Satanist lyrics to a 'T.' The band added a slightly heavier middle 8 to the song, giving it a little more muscle. I wonder what the singer of the world's foremost Stone Roses rip-off band, Kasabian, would think about this cover, seeing as he has declared "war on emo" which, given his lack of understanding and broad definition of the term, he would likely qualify this as.
Anyways, those of you who have said that you don't like the Heavens album because it isn't 'punk' enough or Skiba's vocal delivery isn't what you'd hoped, I would encourage you to catch a live show of theirs. For only their second ever show this was *ahem!* Heavenly...sorry.