Leatherface - Boat in the Smoke DVD (Cover Artwork)


Boat in the Smoke 📀 (2005)


Ruthless. It seems to be the only word to describe Sutherland's Leatherface. If you clicked on this, I'm sure you know the history of the band, so I'll spare you the lesson. This DVD is far from new, but it's definitely the best in my collection. Why? Because every note played on a guitar or bass or sung is on the finished product, good or bad. I think bands forget that when putting together DVDs; people don't want to see clips from two different nights edited together to get all the best "punk rock jumps" nor do we want ridiculous overdubs to see how well-practised the band's lead guitarist is, á la the Vandals videos/DVDs I've seen (to all naysayers, watch Sweating to the Oldies. Warren's hands aren't in the right place the whole time). Basically, this DVD is raw performance -- it's not always perfect, but the emotion packed into it is intense.

It starts off like most Leatherface performances, with "Springtime," and it's pretty fucking amazing. From there they dip into most albums, with the exception of the first two, but the other songs more then make up for it. The guitar sound is shrill and pummelling, while the bass and drums hold down the low end to perfection. Some of the highlights include "Hoodlum," "Not a Day Goes By," "Raga," "Little White God," "Andy," an incredibly emotional performance of "Heart Is Home," and "Dead Industrial Atmosphere," which still gives me chills every time I hear the opening guitar line.

The only drawback to the DVD would have to be the absence of a second guitar player. Leatherface was always known for their fantastic, interweaving guitar lines (just check out the unreleased track "Unfurnished" to see my point) and Frankie Stubbs does a marvellous job on his own, but songs like "Watching You Sleep," "Little White God," and "Sour Grapes" suffer from the loss of a dueling guitar player.

The extra features on the DVD are a fantastic addition as well. It includes a hilarious interview with Frankie Stubbs about the band, Republican punk rock bands, the horrors of touring and which albums he sang on drunk ("you can really hear the slurring on that record"). It also features a bonus live video taken a few months earlier. The quality isn't great, as it was done on a handy cam, but it is worth it for such songs as "Daylight Comes," "Pale Moonlight" and "Not Superstitious" which features Chris Wollard (ex-HWM, currently of the Draft) on second guitar and backup vocals, and he also mocks Frankie's unique stage dance, the "rock shuffle."

Basically, this DVD is a great buy for people on the other side of the ocean, the one Leatherface happens to never visit. I wouldn't see any long-time fans being disappointed with this DVD, in all its unpolished glory.

P.S. They're also getting back together with the original lineup for a new album and tour; get excitied.