Gig review: Chris Baio - Headrow House (Beacons Metro)

THE last time Chris Baio performed live in this area will have been at last year’s Leeds Festival as part of a tightly-honed Vampire Weekend band who were bringing down the curtain on their worldwide tour on the back of their highly-acclaimed third album ‘Modern Vampires of the City.’

Chris Baio.
Chris Baio.

That performance saw the New York quartet thrive on the adulation of around 30,000-plus people at Bramham Park.

Now, having relocated himself to the UK on a full-time basis with the band having taken a well-earned break, bassist Baio is the first to strike out on his own with last month’s release of the well-received album ‘The Names’.

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Headlining the latest event from the ongoing Beacons Metro Festival at Headrow House on Monday, Baio could have been forgiven for thinking he had turned up to play at the wrong venue.

It didn’t take long to count the number of people in the room - 20 at its height - but, regardless of the vast empty spaces in front of him, the 31-year-old was far from deterred and positively thrived to deliver a heartfelt, entertaining 45-minute set.

Accompanied by just a lead guitarist, Baio - constantly emphasising his clear love for dance music developed from a part-time DJ-ing career - busied himself with loops, samples and backbeats, while also stepping out from behind his equipment to deliver some impressive vocals.

The standout moments were the insanely catchy ‘Sister of Pearl’ and ‘Matter’, while he also offered up a delightfully unique take on the Eurthymics’ ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’.

Should he bear no grudges over such a criminally poor turnout and opt to come to Leeds again, you’d be foolish not to check the supremely talented Mr Baio out.

Chris Baio, in action at Headrow House on Monday night.