- by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date: Label:
“I lived in Leeds for ten years” begins Hello Cosmos vocalist/ bassist Ben Robinson “and was never up before 12”. It’s a confession I can definitely relate to yet thankfully the good people of Leeds appear to have made the effort and arrived in time. High noon at the Belgrave Music Hall and the Manchester-based sonic cosmonauts are ready to get started. Incidentally, their gig also serves as the beginning of today’s Live at Leeds one day festival.
The four-piece open with ‘The Cosmic Trigger’; it’s a suitably riotous wake-up call. It’s Saturday and I’d usually be at home thinking about having a second cup of coffee by now but Hello Cosmos seem to be having a similarly enlivening effect.
The first thing you notice is just how loud the Hello Cosmos live experience is, just how heavy these slabs of danceable rock resistance really are. Adrian Ingham brings fiercely energetic, relentless and raw guitar to the mix as drummer Simon Robinson ensures the songs hit hard.
‘Raise the Dawn’ is significantly rawer then it’s recorded counterpart; LCD Soundsystem with the disco ball elements turned down and the riffs turned all the way up to 11. The likes of ‘Fuse’ and state-of-the-world address ‘Run for President’ prove to be equally bludgeoning.
Nothing feels throw away with this band, the ideas and the message just as important as the grooves. Multi-instrumentalist Angela Chan weaves violin and keyboard into the songs, adding depth and texture to the band's sonic assault. Robinson’s lyrics act as an urgent rallying call; a philosophy of openness, action, and positivity oozing out of every song.
“This one” offers Robinson before an incendiary ‘Dream Harder’ “is about owning your own mind”. The vocalist gives his bass to the guitarist before taking a walk around the stage to deliver his last public service announcement. Bouncing around the stage as he tells us, “so dream harder as we dive deeper / swim beyond the depths and jump into the deep end”
If the assembled crowd wasn’t fully awake before then they certainly are now; Hello Cosmos are here to snap you out of complacency. It’s time to begin again.