It’s probably been around 6 or 7 years I’ve been aware of Calva Louise and during all that time I’ve only managed to catch them 3 times, not because I haven’t thought they were worth it but because they have an uncanny knack of announcing dates that clash with bands I’ve already got tickets for that often it started to feel personal.

During those years as Jess and the boys have grown they have been finding their way and sound that has progressively got harder and louder with every release leading up to current album, last year’s Over The Threshold which has brought them to borderline death metal at times. Tonight brings them to The Key Club which is one of my favourite dive bars, not just in Leeds but that I’ve ever been to – its got just the right amount of grubbiness to feel fully authentic without making your skin crawl.

Love Rarely:

Sadly I was disappointed with the opening act, the songs were decent enough and performed well but the delivery just didn’t engage. Having a guitarist with his back to the audience the entire time is bad enough but when the lead singer Corntney Levitt spends most of her time doing the same or staring across the stage you have to wonder what’s going on. Her performance was borderline theatrical at times too, rolling around on the floor and throwing water into the air, not sure if its a confidence thing or deliberate but when you’re screaming anger, surely it’s always better to direct it to the crowd.

Bobby Wolfgang:

The exact opposite happens for the 2nd support, first off, round of applause for the largest setup for a support in a small venue goes to these guys! Insane amount of kit for a 30 mins set and it isn’t long before I discover why…! There’s absolutely no confidence issues here, from the off Wolfgang is in your face, quite literally by the 2nd song as he’s surfing the crowd and jumping in and firing up the mosh pit. Bobby Wolfgang is on fire, clearly a few of the audience were definitely here for them tonight and Bobby absolutely embraced them into the set.

The sound is a modern different take on Nu Punk crossed with a bit of D&B, think Limp Bizkit meets Pendulum and its fucking glorious, these lads have definitely grown up watching Scuzz on the TV, they took no prisoners and gave it 100%. The bar has been set high for Calva Louise that’s for sure and I have a new obsession added to the list, if they keep this up they won’t be the support act for much longer, if you see them on the billing get your arse there to see them, they deserve it!

Calva Louise: 

There’s something unique about the headliner, not just because they hale from around the world. Jess left Venezuela to move to France where she met Alizon before they moved to the UK and came across Ben who himself is a English New Zealander and its the UK they now call home. It isn’t because of their can do attitude, nothing seems to knock these guys down, every punch is rolled and they punch back harder.

Its that belief they have in each other and the sheer determination to make things happen, cant buy a keyboard that slides out of the way when not in use? They’ll build one (its a genius idea for a guitar/keyboard playing front person who rocks out – if it isn’t patented they bloody well should)! Even the backdrop ‘neon’ logo is bandmade, costs were ridiculous to have one made so they made it themselves and it looks spectacular. And then it comes to the performance and Jesus! 

Bobby did a fantastic job warming the crowd up but he could have just dialled it in because from the opener Belicso they’re out to slay it tonight, Under The Skin and Square One follow amd by the time it comes to Human Becoming I’m starting to wonder how thet are sounding so big, amd I mean REALLY big. It’s just 3 people on stage but sounds like there must be another 3 or 4 backstage filling in, its that crazy!

Before they do Con Corazón Jess explains how when learning how to speak English she could “feel” the words and this song is about that begin sung mainly in her native tongue.Third Class Citizen starts the wrap up in spectacular style firing the good sized crowd up in the pit big time and Over The Threshold sends bodies flying and Jess into the crowd before the aptly titled Feast Is Over finishes the night.

The Set is short, under an hour but the memories of it will last long, I’ve been lucky enough to see pretty much every big metal/rock band going or gone in my time, yes they may have bigger production and incredible stage sets but strip that away and Calva Louise would give any one of them a run for their money, honestly! If you’re a metalhead they are simply a must see and with bands like at least two of who I witnessed tonight the genre’s future is looking fit and well.