Gig review: Rudimental at O2 Academy Leeds

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RUDIMENTAL were in Leeds as part of a UK tour ahead of the release of their long-delayed forthcoming third album Toast To Our Differences.

It is due out early next year and will be the trailblazing drum and bass band’s first album since 2015’s We the Generation.

At a raucous, packed 02 Academy, the London chart-toppers gave their adoring fans a treat in a brilliant performance that showcased many of their classics and some newer material.

Rudimental have become notorious for their energetic and pulsing bass heavy and this show had their followers dancing in the stalls and the balcony from start to finish.

The stage, much like the Academy itself, was packed with as many as 12 musicians at peak times and every one of them clearly enjoying themselves as much as the crowd.

DJ Locksmith lead the hype charge as soon as the band stepped on the stage and kept the momentum going all night.

Rudimental’s current headline tour is their biggest to date and that they are playing to sold-out venues says much for their growing appeal.

DJ Locksmith, ably backed by singers such as Ella Henderson, Bridget Amofah and Afronaut Zu, took centre stage.

Yet it was very much a collective effort from a hugely talented bunch of musicians who clearly love what they do.

This was a set that overflowed with big hits, from Sun Comes Up and Free to Ed Sheeran collaborations Bloodstream and Lay It All On Me.

There was even a Rudimental-ised cover of Rag’n’Bone Man’s Human.

With John Newman, Ella Eyre and most recently Anne-Marie all having graduated from the Rudimental guest vocal fame academy, the latest crop will each be well aware what an opportunity it is to sing with them.

All are worthy of the chance, and Afronaut Zu and former X Factor contestant Henderson in particular seized their moments with a soaring Feel The Love and a celebratory These Days at the finish.

Rudimental have certainly set the standard with their UK comeback.