On yet another rainy evening in Yorkshire, we found ourselves trecking to Headrow House - one of Leeds’ most prestigious venues for the weird and wonderful. Whether you are witnessing the goofy grime flows of D Double, who has found himself amazingly on Ikea’s 2019 christmas advert, or the wavy trap rhythms of Pierre Bourne, the space is so much more than a swanky rooftop bar.
We’ve been wanting to see Injury Reserve for a while - the Arizona trio’s latest project solidified themselves among the most innovative of rap acts, and there are a few slappers on there that we couldn’t wait to witness. Armed with a red stripe, we watched Jockstrap open up proceedings; their equally experimental sound was a chilled way to kick off the gig. Taylor Skye played the role of a maverick on stage, building scintillating synths, which burrowed beneath band mate Georgia Ellery’s ghastly vocals.
Being told to ‘shut the fuck up’ by Ritchie, 1/3 of Injury Reserve, is not the most ideal way to start your night, but for our mate Jay, this is exactly what happened. 4 Red Stripes are £10 at Headrow, and he evidently couldn’t hack all 1,760 ml of premium Jamaican lager. Once all tension had settled, and the excessive strobe lights began, Rap Song Tutorial kicked off the trios performance. The skit transitioned immaculately into Koruna and Lime, and it was from then on that the artist’s scarpered frantically across the stage - with only their silhouettes visible through the epileptic strobe light.
Injury Reserve ripped through a set riddled with classics, whilst the newer material bound it all together, intersections of scuzzy, crescendoing electronica kept you on edge throughout the whole performance. There was no time for audience participation, and at one point we all thought the gig was over when It’d barely reached half way. Parker Corey and co overcame the technical difficulties though, powering on to the latter half of the set, which whipped the crowd into such a frenzy. All this money, Oh Shit!!!! and Jailbreak the Tesla ended the performance in some style, even if by that point I’d had at least 57 epileptic fits from the blinding strobe lights.
The way TKTV flowed into S on Ya Chest was a particular highlight of the night. Sentimentally, those two tunes hold a special place with us. We did feel though, as the performance was in such an intimate venue, some chinwag with the audience, and a few less distorted electronic intersections, would have made the performance an incredibly memorable one. Definitely catch them on their next tour if you get the chance though.