Live Review: Porij – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. 21.9.22

If you like your music genre-defying, hard to pin down but irresistibly danceable, then last Wednesday’s sold-out crowd at Brudenell Social Club is where you should have been…

Porij formed in 2019 in Manchester, a product of the Royal Northern College of Music, making beats that subsequently blossomed into a heady mix of UK garage, house, DnB, new wave and pop. They’re already a regular on 6 Music and BBC Radio 1, a favourite of the likes of Sian Eleri and Jack Saunders.

Fronted by Egg Moore (vocals and keys), Porij is an interesting proposition on stage. Much of the engagement comes from Moore’s infectious energy and delicate vocal. At times, there’s a wonderful juxtaposition between that vocal and the power of the beats they lay down, bringing the crowd alive with some of the dancier, drum and bass-type rhythms. Tracks like Figure Skating and the relentless beat of Automatic keep things moving with real attack.

To give all the credit to Moore would be to misrepresent the quality of the rest of the band though. Sure, there’s not a huge level of interaction between the band on stage, while Moore rightly focuses on the audience, but there’s a tightness in the group, anchored in Nathan Carroll’s accomplished grooves, turning his sticks to any number of genres throughout the set. James Middleton switches effortlessly between bass and keys and with Carroll, provides a solid foundation for Jacob Maguire’s guitar.

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Nobody Scared, a song about “looking after the girls and women in your life” says Moore. “A song that changed our lives” she continues, eliciting an unexpected, yet beautiful response from the crowd: “It changed mine too!”

There’s a power in the lyrics on this track, a beautiful vocal, funky bass, splashy drumbeats and a delicious guitar lick from Maguire.

Despite a tricky sound – it’s never great in Brudenell’s Community Room – and a chronic lack of lighting, Porij create an atmosphere that keeps a midweek crowd on their feet and in the zone, dancing throughout, arms in the air and responding to Moore’s exhortation to go “fucking mental”, asked in possibly the politest way in all of music!

Going out with a cover of Basement Jaxx’s Where’s Your Head At ensures the crowd filter out into the Leeds night on a high – converts to the “Oat Gang”. More shows like this will keep Porij on the menu for a good while to come. 

Set list:

Art School
Heaven Knows
Figure Skating
Lose Our Minds 
Nobody Scared
I Like That
Where’s Your Head At

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