By Ellie Gaudisoi
On October 27th 2010, Dinosaur Pile-Up brought their unusual ‘nu-grunge’ style of music to a hometown gig at The Cockpit in Leeds. Despite the small size of the venue, having not quite made it to the biggest room the site has to offer, a large crowd had gathered to see the band, varying from teenage girls to grown men.
The band took to the stage and launched straight in to ‘Barce-Loner’ with no real introduction, simple lighting and only a backdrop advertising the bar’s weekly ‘Slam Dunk night’. Rather than coming to life at the arrival of the band, the crowd simply stood, only clapping and cheering at the end of the songs, which meant the night lacked the energized atmosphere that you expect to experience at a gig. The band themselves had very little interaction with the crowd, with little more than a “What’s going on at the back?” from the lead singer and guitarist Matt Bigland. Expectedly, the well-received single ‘Mona Lisa’ got the best reaction of the night as people began getting involved.
Watching Dinosaur Pile-Up perform live, it is easy to understand how they are so often compared to Nirvana. Everything about the performance, from the way they play to the style of the songs themselves, echoes the grunge band and at times they could almost pass off as a Nirvana tribute band. However, it is in songs such as ‘Hey You’ that the band drift away from this comparison and allow their own musical talent to shine, proving that they are more than just the ‘grunge revivalists’ many have labelled them as.
Despite the lack of energy and interaction, the crowd still seemed to be fixated by the band. It is obvious from the simple stage setting and the passion projected by the band that the night was all about one thing: appreciating good music. Rather than attempting to put on a show, they let the songs speak for themselves by captivating the crowd with their heavy riffs and contrasting light melodies. This technique seems to work, as many of the crowd queue to buy the new album ‘Growing Pains’ at the end of the show.
Even though Dinosaur Pile-Up had not performed the most memorable of shows, the crowd undoubtedly left at the end of the gig with the feeling of having experienced a night dedicated to high-quality live music, which, after all, is the basis of what all bands set out to do.