Hard-edged Texas rockers who balanced dream pop and post-hardcore to build a substantial following will be performing their classic 2002 album Source Tags and Codes in full.
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (hereafter “Trail”, thanks; I’m using the phone) have been around since I was a wee nipper (kind-of) who really loved this sort of music. If I were slightly cooler or more knowledgeable (unlikely I know) I’d probably be able to sing along. I wish I could; this is absolutely wonderful!
The truth is that I’m nowhere near as clueless as I try to make out. Like the spoddy kid who swears he hasn’t revised but can’t hide the bags around his eyes, I have, in fact, listened to almost every act on this line-up. (Some of them for way less than a full song, but still…) Anyway, I listened to a whole album by these guys. Three times. Because I loved it. They’re awesome, and if the nineteen-year-old me wasn’t quite as distracted as I know he was, I’d be furious with him for ignoring them.
The two main guys alternate between drums and lead guitar/vocals, and they’re working hard enough that they definitely don’t need a gym. they shout and scream and sweat, they can play, they’re funny, charming and effusive. I wish they were my real dad! Well, actually, they’re not quite old enough for that, but maybe cool uncles?!
It’s quite hard to describe how they actually sound. They’re sort of alt-rock, grungey garage? Fast, guitar-driven, high-energy American indie rock. It’s one of the main Dudes’ birthdays. His name is apparently Jason. We sing him happy birthday with all the tunefulness of a football crowd. I like this moment.
The tent is half full, and while the crowd seems happy enough, only four or so people are actually pogoing, but to be honest, as a veteran I can state confidently that Latitude crowds are some of the glumest and toughest to energise I’ve ever known. They’re actually doing pretty well!
But these guys still get us down at the front bobbing with our hands in the air. Conrad, one of the main Dudes with a cherubic baby-face, even has the good grace to smash his guitar at the end and throw it (with surely only the briefest of pauses for a risk assessment) at the guy in front of me who was clearly loving them the most. I’ve rarely seen anyone look so contented. He left hugging its jagged edges like a teddy.
Trail put a great big, shouty-guitar-shaped grin on my face too.