Review: Leatherface - Boat In The Smoke DVD
London's Punkervision does da lawd's work by producing the highest quality punk concert dvds at the lowest prices. Here they cover 2 Leatherface shows from 2001 and 2004. Leatherface is not a great live band - ok - they might be a great live band but I'm blind to it since it's nothing compared to their best studio work.
I've been a Leatherface fanatic since I finally found a used copy of Mush in the mid-90s. Before that all you could find was Cherry Knowle, an average UK Subs-ish album of no real import. Mush came out of nowhere, creating a sound and emotional feel so ahead of its time it's not given it's full due today. Internal issues tore at the band and the two albums that followed had shining moments but were doomed with filler, knocking the band off the wave they created.
In 1999 BYO Records ensured their place in the next life by pulling Frankie Stubbs & Co. off their arses to record a split with Hot Water music and then Horsebox the next year. Mush, the split cd and Horsebox are perfect albums. What you hear on them has been endlessly copied before and after, and The Kids need to have it tattooed on their foreheads that Leatherface doesn't sound like any band that came after them. These other bands are copying Leatherface. To say otherwise is like insisting Ska came from Reggae. I'm a member of the Leatherface death cult but I know where they fall short. MUSH needs to be remixed and the excellent Dog Disco sounds like it was recorded by a deaf person. Most of my reviews are at the bottom of this page.
I saw Leatherface live around 2000 and the show was horrible. There was only one guitar, which for Leatherface is like swimming with one hand. They were drunk and played every song as trash hardcore to keep The Kids attentive. The two shows on this DVD are better than what I saw, but to fans blown away by how songs like "Sour Grapes" and "Springtime" sound with good headphones the live show without the second lead guitar has to be missing that something that makes Leatherface so important.
Leatherface live is no way to introduce someone to Leatherface. That's only with a good stereo, good headphones and the background info to know that what you're hearing is derived from other sources but original to Leatherface, the best thing to come from Sunderland since...hey, does anything else come from Sunderland?