Eagulls Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto ON, June 20

Eagulls Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto ON, June 20
Photo: Stephen McGill
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The task of kicking off NXNE's Friday night of music at Yonge-Dundas Square can be a thankless one on the best of days, with artists often forced to play to mostly indifferent late-afternoon crowds of passers-by and commuters looking to go home for the weekend as quickly as possible, but it felt particularly ill-suited to Britain's Eagulls and their dynamic blend of indie, hardcore and post-punk. Although the young Leeds quintet's stage manner is in keeping with a long line of British bands perfectly content to stand around and deliver their songs with little banter and few theatrics, the fast, compact strumming and slashing riffs of guitarists Mark Goldsworthy and Liam Matthews as well as singer George Mitchell's angry howls gave their music a nervous energy and fire that would have blown the roof off of most club-sized venues, but unfortunately seemed to go a bit wasted in this bright, open space.