Leprous at ULU Live in London

Leprous performing on the main stage

It was my first time at this particular students union, and I wasn’t expecting that large of a venue. However, the capacity was over 800, and the room was absolutely packed! I knew it was a sold out show, but this was something else. Their fanbase must have at least doubled in size since their last major tour in 2017 to support their previous record , ‘Malina’.

However, the booker couldn’t have chosen a worse venue. Whoever designed the floor plan for ULU must have not foreseen the space outgrowing the students union it was built for. You have to fight your way to the cloakroom as its the opposite side of the venue to the entrance, right next to the stage. The door staff took ages to check tickets leaving a fair crowd in the rain for a good half hour. This was over an hour after doors opening too. I also unfortunately missed Port Noir because of said long queues going into the venue. However, I got inside just in time for The Ocean whom I’d not heard before…

The Ocean’s style really reminds me of A Perfect Circle, especially with the mellower vocals. The harsh vocals not so much. Their staging was also similar to APC’s last tour. Mattias Hägerstrand on bass absolutely killed it with super groovy fuzzed up basslines. I’m looking forward to visiting their discography in the near future.

The Ocean

A short break for a stage changeover, and then Leprous were up!

They started by playing a couple of tracks from their new album. ‘Below’, and ‘I Lose Hope’. Einar Solberg (lead singer, Leprous) let us know that other members of the band have had to learn how to play synthesisers this tour to keep up with the new material. Even their touring cello player Raphael Weinroth-Browne had his moment on the Prophet 6.

Einar Solberg on the Prophet 6

Oh, did I not mention the cello player? Well there was one. And I mean… would it really be a prog concert without a cellist?

There were a number of synth stations on stage including the Prophet 6 and a couple of Nords. Many members of the band darted between these stations swapping from their usual instruments to synthesis.

Overall, the set mostly focused on their latest record ‘Pitfalls’ which we reviewed earlier this week. There wasn’t a whole lot of space for older material as they didn’t play anything from ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ or ‘Bilateral’. However, when you have such an outstanding back catalogue, it becomes harder as the tours go on to squeeze everything in.

Leprous did however fit in some tracks from ‘The Congregation’ (2015) as well as ‘Coal’ (2013) which kept the older fans happy. The familiarity of those records brought the audience to their comfort zone with plenty of people singing along.

After the throwback, we returned to ‘Pitfalls’ with ‘Distant Bells’; One of my favourite tracks from their latest album. We also got treated to ‘The Sky Is Red’ as the finale which was the longest track off of ‘Pitfalls’, and their second longest track ever at over 11 minutes long.

I really enjoyed the concert as a whole, and I can’t wait to see where Leprous take their sound next.

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