I first saw Eureka Machines in 2011, when they had acquired a very unlikely slot supporting the Welsh hair metal band Tigertailz in Sheffield. The majority of the audience (a mere 15 in total, at a push) were standing around at the back holding onto their pints or fluffing up their sprayed hair. The Eurekas still managed to play their hearts out, albeit not with full enthusiasm. They did their whole humorous synchronous bit you can see in a few promo videos, head shaking and jumping about, which did make them stand out from the rest of the bands that night but due to a lack of audience interest I wouldn’t be surprised if they felt a bit silly up on that little stage.
But the band has come a long way since then. After considering ending the Eureka Machines (and starting again under another name), the guys took one more go at it and ended up with a very successful PledgeMusic campaign for what was to become their third, and much loved, album “Remain in Hope”. With more than 1000 pledges under their belts, there seems to be a new spring in the step of the Eurekas and a much deserved one too.
After a short tour with the newly reformed Wildhearts, they’ve embarked on their own set of dates spread out over a bunch of weekends, which brings us to their show in Leeds at the Brudenell: a hometown show with a real “homecoming” feel to it. The band are much more relaxed than that time back in 2011 in Sheffield, and it’s not just because they’re on hometurf or it’s their own show at one of the best independent venues still around, but because of the turn out, the massive support and the eager looks on everyone’s faces – a happy crowd makes a happy band, and you can really tell.
As the band stepped up onstage from behind their backdrop (their logo looked tiny at the Wildhearts shows, but tonight it could easily be the biggest banner ever made compared to the stage) they were greeted with cheers, all besides singer Chris Catalyst who had riled up a few mock “boos”. Eureka Machines need no fancy entrances, so without further ado they began playing and the audience, a mixture of fans new and not so new, began singing, dancing and just generally being jolly. The first song of the night was “Champion the Underdog” (from the 2011 album of the same name), the lyrics of which really sum up the band: “we won’t stop trying til we’re dying”. It’s not often anymore that you see such dedication from a band.
From the satirical take on fame in “Pop Star” to the cosy ballad “The One Who Wouldn’t Change You”, the set was full of Eurekas songs that really showcase a possible wide range of influences, from the Beach Boys to the Cardiacs and anywhere in between. It goes without saying that these guys know how to write a good song, and each song pretty much does the job itself tonight. There is no humorous synchrony like at other shows: perhaps in Leeds, the band’s hometown, it feels a little bit unnecessary.
After a show like this, I think it is safe to say that the Eureka Machines should have a great & continued career. When I see signs saying “support local bands” or “support live music”, this is the kind of act I think of: after you have been to one of their gigs you just want to go to them all, their shows are lively, energetic and fun in a lethargic and cynical world.
The tour is coming to a close, but you can still catch Eureka Machines at the following dates:
24th May – Satan’s Hollow in Manchester
25th May – The Parish in Huddersfield