Vessels have become something of a Leeds indie institution, and as word spreads, the queue is soon snaking out the door. Wedging myself in-between the sweaty bodies, tension builds with the hiss of cymbals filling the air. On stage the three guitar players shift and sway back and forth until the sound sweeps over them like a tidal wave. Beating contemporaries like Explosions in the Sky for atmosphere, Vessels are constantly shifting styles and instruments, skittering from post rock gloom to dexterous Battles-style electro.
Moving with the swell of the crowd, the click of drum sticks ricochets against discordant keyboards in stuttering rhythmic bursts as ‘The Trap’ builds to its restless conclusion. Changing with the swift of a chord from utterly joyful to heart-bustlingly heavy, Vessels are a band who like to play with your emotions. Painstakingly, they twist the delicate swirling keyboards of ‘Later Than You Think’ into dense layers that encircle everything in its path. Showcasing older songs like ‘Yuki’ alongside material from new album ‘Helioscope’ they show the subtle mix of light and shade that draws this crowd back to Vessels time and again. This is a band that just keeps getting better.
By Kate Parkin
Originally published in issue 28 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2011