Neck Deep @ Key Club review – Celebrating 10 years of Rain in July

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Featured image and gallery: Rianna Ram

Neck Deep returned to the city of Leeds with a special setlist celebrating ten years of their EP, Rain in July. The tour consisted of a run of UK cities in intimate venues and fans in Leeds were hosted by the much-loved 300-capacity rock and alternative venue, The Key Club on Sunday.

Wrexham’s finest began the set with the main event: Rain in July, which featured ten songs including the likes of ‘What Did You Expect?’, ‘All Hype, No Heart’ and ‘Over and Over’ – all of these sending the crowd into scenes of havoc as the pop-punk legends dominated the stage.

Ironically, seconds before ‘Up in Smoke’ began, the show had to be paused due to a fire alarm. This began a conversation between frontman Ben Barlow and the crowd, making it feel almost like we had gone to a stand-up comedy show instead of a rowdy punk concert. This standstill was handled relatively quickly, and the band continued their gig as if nothing had gone wrong.

Undeniably the kings of their genre, the five-piece band are recognised for their high-energy performances and catchy song lyrics, so it was no surprise that selling out such a small room would cause some chaos and consistent stage diving. 

Once ‘A Part of Me’ marked the finale of the EP songs, the band announced they’d be back for an encore – making the audience laugh and joking around that it was predictable anyway. 

Little did we know, the encore consisted of a hefty six more songs, starting with ‘Motion Sickness’, a fan favourite which seemed to get the audience rowdier than they already were. It seemed rare for a song to finish without finding yourself underneath a sea of crowd-surfers.

Following this, they performed some of the slightly older, yet still very much appreciated ‘Gold Steps’ and ‘STFU’, both going down a treat in the crowd. Throughout these, Ben spent a lot of his time stood on the barrier and handing the microphone to hardcore fans ready to sing every line. It was fascinating to watch in comparison to bigger venues, where it is seemingly impossible to interact so well with fans.

Knowing the set was about to draw to a close, the opening riff to the undeniable classic, ‘December’, began playing and the audience yet again confidently took over the venue. Punchy lyrics echoed throughout the Key Club walls and girls sat up on shoulders singing the words despite the lack of room within the pit.

After 16 songs, the night ended with their most popular hit ‘In Bloom’, and after the opportunity of a lifetime it was a privilege to get to see such a well-loved band play such an intimate show. 

Neck Deep play the legendary Alexandra Palace in March, 2024.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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