The Dirty Hit tour that Superfood are about a quarter of the way through is immensely important to them as a band – perhaps the most important tour that they’ve ever had to do. Calling it their “comeback” tour may seem clichéd, but that’s really what it is. Years of silence and no new music has boiled down to this immense, 17-date tour. The moment is theirs.
A lot has changed for the B-town boppers. Almost immediately after their debut album Don’t Say That in 2014, they parted ways with their label and were left floundering with no managers and no money. After becoming a duo, they’ve returned with new songs and a new sound with a tentative sense of maturity that almost translated as shyness onstage.
Whereas a couple of years ago fans would have been excitedly queueing up outside the venue, rushing to be by the barriers, chanting and moshing, their clientele has matured alongside the band. 5 minutes before they took to the stage, the audience space was empty, with fans buying drinks, outside smoking, or chatting on nearby sofas, only sauntering to the front when the band members walked onstage.
Playing Leeds’ legendary Brudenell Social Club, with a still-loyal audience curious to see where time has taken Superfood since their time as indie mainstayers, Dom Ganderton and Ryan Malcolm opened with new song ‘Double Dutch,’ which was as polished and refined as it sounds on record – they’ve certainly had enough time to perfect it. Although the perfect melange of processed beats and quirky sampling, it did feel a bit jarring to then be transported back to 2014 with the classic ‘Lily For Your Pad To Rest On’ straight after, bringing us back to the nostalgic reality of their past. Their new material, such as ‘I Can’t See,’ sounded incredibly promising, though the crowd seemed a little hesitant to receive the songs as warmly as their old repertoire, including the fun ‘Bubbles’ and crowd-pleasing ‘Superfood.’ An acoustic rendition of ‘Right On Satellite’ reduced the lively song to a more melancholic place, with the band saying little between each song.
All in all, the gig seemed a bit like an awkward encounter with an old friend – you’re happy to see them, you still see the good qualities in them, but it all seems a bit stilted and you don’t know how to act. Their new songs seem likely to draw in a whole new fanbase though, and so with a new album in the pipeline, we can only wait to see if Superfood’s confidence will return.
Words by Steph Green