Review and photos by David Pickles
Sometimes in life you must take a risk, go with a hunch. That applies to watching a new band you don’t know much about. That’s why on a Tuesday night I am at the Lending Rooms in Leeds. I had been there a few months earlier to see another band and had seen The Damn Truth gig flyer on the wall, they looked cool, and the name sounded familiar, so I put it in my calendar. When I heard their latest song, “This is Where We Are Now” on the radio (Planet Rock), I knew I had to be there. Two tickets were quickly purchased. So, Tuesday night it is, and I am standing in front of the stage at the Lending Rooms, the support Late Night Legacy have finished and did a great job of warming us all up. Now can The Damn Truth turn the heat up further.
They hit the stage with ‘This is Who We Are Now’, the only song I know by them. They are clearly ready to take no prisoners, they don’t care. It’s Tuesday night and this is a cosy venue. They perform like they are headlining an arena. I’m hooked already. What a start but can they keep me hooked all night. You bet. The songs come thick and fast. “Full on You” and the awesome “Too Late” deliver in flying colors. Next up, “Pirates and Politicians” with its grooving hook and yes, I am grooving too, swinging side to side, loving it but playing havoc with trying to take photos. It’s one of those songs that you think you have heard before. Lee says that she is in love with the UK and loving their time here and this being their second of four headline shows. They are currently on tour as support to King King as well. We are getting the full 80 minute show tonight, not the taster 40 minute support slot, lucky us!
A quick guitar noodle from Tom and they are into “Broken Blues” a great bluesy number as the title suggests some lovely soulful guitar from Tom with a vocal/guitar duet with Lee thrown in as well. Back to the latest release with “Lonely” after some songs from the first two albums, “Dear in the Headlights” and “Devilish Folk.” “Lonely” is huge and I could imagine this going down great in a packed Arena, Lee screams “I said can you hear me? Can you feel me?” You bet we can, there might not be thousands of us here tonight, but I am sure we all felt it all the same.
“Only Love” is a stomper with Lee telling us, “If we all hold on it will be alright,” some tasty guitar from Tom, with Dave pounding the drums hard on this one, before launching into a mini drum solo. Love it. Next is a slow and moving number “Look Innocent,” Lee is giving it her all, I can just visualize an arena lit up with lighters in the air, or mobile phones these days on this one. I am sure it won’t be too long before they are playing much larger venues, but for us all tonight we are being treated to an intimate show and maybe this is why Lee then explained how it all started when her and Tom meet butt naked at a festival. Only a few years later they would be living their dream playing the UK.
“The Fire” also from the latest offering “Now or Nowhere” follows. Dave Traina begins this with his driving drums, this is one epic song Lee’s vocal does indeed “Drive Me Crazy,” in a good way of course! “Kinda Awkward” next from their first album “Dear in the Headlights” with some fantastic interplay from PY and Dave on Bass and Drums. “You don’t know me at all” Lee screams, with the song ending with Lee showing off all her vocal prowess. Wow! I am simply blown away. “Get With You” also taken from “Dear In The Headlights” album is anything but sweet another rocker. Lee announced that she wanted to meet everyone after the show for a drink. Tom thanked everyone for coming and asked everyone to scream for them. And scream they did. “Tomorrow” finishes the set before they quickly disappear and then reappear for the encore with “Heart is Cold.”
80 minutes of perfection. The Damn Truth have it all, great style, fabulous songs, perfectly delivered and great people as we all found out when we went to meet them after the show. What a gig! Not exactly a cheap night out for me, as I bought the latest two releases on vinyl. Was it worth it? Hell, yeah! Where have this band been hiding? Who knows, but the secret is out. They are amazing, go see them soon. I am checking their tour dates seeing if I can catch another show before they depart. If you can’t catch them, get their albums you won’t be disappointed, I wasn’t.
Set List: This Is Who We Are Now, Full On You, Too Late, Pirates and Politicians, Broken Blues, Lonely, Only Love, Look Innocent, The Fire, Kinda Awkward, Get With You, Tomorrow
Encore: Heart is Cold