The Dropkick Murphys return to the main stage at Leeds for a mid afternoon slot and as usual get a very healthy crowd despite bringing the rain with them. You know what you’re going to get with the Dropkicks and they’re usually a pretty safe bet to revive a flagging crowd mid afternoon with their brand of celtic tinged street punk.
I’m not sure what it is today but the Dropkick Murphys are the first of a few bands that don’t quite seem up to their usual high standards. The set list has one or two too many slower songs and tracks like ‘Sunshine Highway’, whilst being easy on the ear for this crowd are far from their best work. The performance seems a little subdued as well, there’s still a fair bit of movement going on but they are lacking the intensity and urgency that we’ve come to expect from them. There are still some highlights of course and it’s by no means a bad performance, ‘Bastards On Parade’ in particular is good to hear but even ‘Fields of Athenrye’ doesn’t get the crowd going today like it usually does.
They bring on Liberty Haze for guest vocals on ‘Dirty Glass’ and when they follow with ‘Shipping up to Boston’ they finally get the crowd moving. It’s all very simplistic in structure and when you add the bagpipes it’s very effective but there’s no getting away from the fact that something is lacking today. For some bands the main stage is a step too far but having seen them do a fine job on this stage a couple of years back it can’t be that so we’ll just have to put it down to a bad day at the office. Would be good to see them do a longer set on the Lock Up stage next time.