We are nearly two months removed from the release of Casey’s sophomore album release in the form of Where I Go When I Am Sleeping. Arguably their most ambitious project to date and easily their most ambitious tour as a headliner so far, they have proven to have dominated the EU leg of the tour, having played mostly sold out shows across the continent and a sold out London show in the lead up to a Saturday night in Leeds. The Key Club can either make or break a band in some cases with the intimacy and immediacy of the venue, however, is this something that plays straight into Casey’s hands? Absolutely.
Hailing all the way from Sydney, Australia, Endless Heights (8.5) provided the opening entertainment for the evening. Much in the same vein of headliner’s Casey, ambience mixed with a rock melody, vocal layering made for a nice build up to the headline band. Performing songs such as Paralyse brought it’s own unique sound to The Key Club, almost a raspy, yet equally clear vocal and guitar tone combine in a beautiful duet, but they still attacked the stage with performances in the form of Pray I Fade and You Coward. Engaging and unique, but still retaining the stylistics that have swept the UK scene by storm, it’s safe to say that Endless Heights are a near perfect opening band on this tour and we would confidently say that if this band were to stay in the UK for maybe a month, just grinding with other bands, perhaps Acres, Canvas, Holding Absence, we could be bearing witness to something truly special.
As the roomed simmered, Casey (9.5) made their way onto the stage, opening with the ethereal opener Making Weight from their sophomore album, Where I Go When I Am Sleeping. Immediately, the crowd reacted and it was obvious the filled room were as every bit passionate about Casey as the band was.
Blasting into their set with Phosphenes, singer Tom Weaver bellowed into the microphone, once again met with a loud retort from the crowd, who were clearly up to it as stage diving was near immediate, much to the surprise of some of the crowd and maybe even some of the band. Flowing between new songs from WIGWIAS and more early releases, the response was continuous. Crowd favourite, Hell and Darling, back to back, brought the room from an upbeat and faster tempo, down into a calmer, relaxed formality, whilst still retaining the empathy and feeling that Casey radiate.
The use of interludes is one that can be risky, but it almost feels necessary with this band as it’s such an integral part to their sound, so the performance of album title track Where I Go When I Am Sleeping was welcomed, smoothly transitioning into Teeth, arguably the track that broke Casey back in 2015. Whether they would imagine in just three years they would have released their second album, now playing to a near sold-out Leeds crowd singing every single lyric back to them or not, this was their reality.
Heavier (by these standards) songs in the form of Mourning and Fade close out the set as a sombre feeling sets about the room, only due to the recognition that this powerful set is coming to an end. Closing with Little Bird, it was last gas energy. Crowd surfing, stage diving, fist pumping, push pits and every lyric almost overpowering parts of the band, this is what bands like Casey offer. They offer an outpouring of empathetic, relatable lyrics, backed by delicate and calculated melodies which culminate in this special and sentimental performance.
As they closed out their set, Weaver and co leave the stage with a clean ambience filling the room. Weaver, as promised, is suddenly sprinting to the mercy desk as a queue forms and greets every person with a smile. After one would imagine, an exhausting, both mentally and physically, performance, to even muster the energy to greet people is something to admire. Casey are a dedicated, passionate and exemplary band, giving a performance that any band witnessing would be chuffed with. Through their arduous touring schedule, their personal trials and tribulations and upon reflection, the fact they’re still able to do this, is outstanding. We have said it before and we’ll say it again, Casey continue to grow and they will do, to miss them at this grassroots level is a disservice and if you have the opportunity, grab it with both hands and soak in one of the most emotional bands in the UK scene currently.
Review: Adam Jones