Live: Albert Hammond Jr. – O2 Academy, Leeds

In just a few weeks, Albert Hammond Jr. releases his fourth solo record Francis Trouble and on Monday evening, he played a rousing support set on Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand’s Leeds show.

With queue’s still out of the door to collect tickets, Hammond Jr. walked out to a surprisingly quiet crowd, seemingly still in a Monday kind of mood. It took a few tracks for the crowd to get into the American, former Strokes guitarist, but when he and his band got into the swing of things, it really came alive. Playing a selection of tracks from the upcoming album, Hammond Jr. showed that his sound has once again changed and improved from his previous releases.

It is often the case that when artists break off from the band they became famous in, their music takes a few backwards steps. With Albert Hammond Jr. however, his live show proves that he is a creative artist, and one that continually looks to better both his own music, and that of The Strokes. Since, 2014 when we last saw him, the live show has become heavier and more composed making for an enjoyable watch.

At times, the set superseded that of the Franz Ferdinand set and much of the music produced by the band was on point and set up a very good night of indie rock music. Most impressive was the singers vocal range, something very unexpected based on listening to The Strokes. At 37, Hammond Jr. seems to be hitting his prime and the sound throughout was extremely polished, even if the tracks were a bit “samey” at times.

If we can recommend one thing this year, it’s pick up a copy of the album on March 9th – it’ll be a great set of tunes that need to be played loud to be fully appreciated. Great set, great night, we’re looking forward to the next time already.


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