Saturday, 15 October 2011


Doesn't pretend to be a review as such, just an account of some of the great live music I get to see.

2nd-4th September is Bingley Music Live, I like this festival a great deal, its has a great atmosphere and good line-ups, this year it sold out. I had a press pass for this year, to cover the unsigned bands who were kicking off each day's events.

These are the subjects of separate blogs:

State of Error
Thirteen 16

Down The Machine
On 8th September went to probably the strangest music event I've been to which was a kind of fashion show with buskers at Harvery Nichols. I'm feeling a tad out of place here and thinking I might go when, wait what's this, Free Beer! Needless to say I'm staying. I catch excellent sets from Steph Stephenson, Jake from Raw Peaches, Down The Machine and The Coopers. Everyone attending has been given some gold coins to give to their favourite buskers as its a kind of battle of the bands thing. It's a very strange night but it's a rather cool setting, with people playing among the clothes. I saw a man dressed in Orange with a matching face, who almost made Down The Machine forget the words.

My original intention had been to go to Mojo's to catch Leeds Indie Radio's Live sessions. This is a really good monthly night, the performances are recorded and played on the radio. I get there very late and slightly worse for wear after large amounts of free beer. I am in time to see Rupert Stroud, who recently sent me his album and I was really pleased to catch him and his band live, thoroughly enjoyed the set.

All the sessions from that night are available from leeds indie radio Leeds Indie Radio

Louise Distras
On Saturday 10th September I helped to organise "Live lounge" in Saltaire, some 20 performers doing acoustic sessions in people's living rooms in Saltaire village. There were four "venues" and we had an amazing day, I spent the morning making sure performers were in place so didn't see too many acts, but I did manage to catch part of Sarah Carey's set and Mr. Gary C's too and I spent the afternoon in the music shop with Matt Bentley, Louise Distras and Miranda vs. The Crok. The lounges were closed at 4pm and we went up to The Countess of Rosse pub where the music continued most of the night, with impromptu sets from several of the days performers. Young rappers Tapestry and JSN ask John the guitarrist from Miranda vs. The Crok if he would play guitar whilst they rapped and it worked a treat. Link to Video

I decide to go into Bradford to catch a couple of performers at the Science Fringe Festival at the Playhouse. I am in time to see a great set from Crosscut Saw, blues band, and Quiet Rebellion (Shaun Hunter).

Sunday 11th I'm at the Northern Monkey first band I catch is Ballyhoo Eventide, a young Bradford band I've not seen before, good set. Next up are The Paper Smiles Leeds/Bradford threesome, they played a very good set, they've not been going that long and I was surprised by how much they have come on. Headline band tonight is Jack's Attic, 5 piece band from Pontefract. Great set as always by these talented lads. Individual talents that bond together perfectly and a great frontman. Good collection of songs.

Wednesday 14th September I'm at Bradford Playhouse for Geek's single launch. They are supported by Wakefield three piece Boxing Club, good solid set from this blues/rock band who are also very good company, great chatting with them too. Geek are dressed in lab coats as their gig is also part of Science week in Bradford. I had liked their set at Bingley but I enjoyed in much more today. They have a good rock sound although they have one guitar and keyboards and some good harmonies going on as they all provide backing vocals and the guitarrist and bassist alternative main vocals. Good set.

Thursday 15th I'm back in the playhouse to see an intimate gig from Kascarade. The support act is Ed Stones, its his first gig and he does a good job. This is followed by an acoustic set from Kascarade, the songs have a really different feel and with all 5 singing this sounds amazing. Looking forward to their full electric gig in a few weeks time.

Friday the 16th I'm at Cockpit to see Redwire. They are supported by The Artists a young Leeds band who have just released their second EP. I've not seen this band since the Centre Stage heats and am really surprised just how much they have improved, they play a very good set, ones to watch indeed. They are followed by Skint and Demoralised, 5 piece Wakefield band. I really like these, they have everything, great lyrics, catchy tunes, good stage presence. Really glad they are beginning to enjoy some success again. It's been pretty busy all night but now the place is rammed as Redwire comes on stage. All the Redwire faithful are out tonight and its a great atmosphere, one that Redwire really bounce off. Great set of old and new songs - though I notice the fans know all the words to the new ones too. Everyone is bouncing around and the set seems finished in no time, shame there is a curfew at the Cockpit as I have a feeling everyone would party all night.

Kevin Critchley Outfit
On Saturday 17th, I'm at The Well to see four Liverpool bands at a gig organised by Liverpool Bands page. It's a shame there aren't too many there as there are four talented bands, and its nice to see some new faces on stage for a change. The first band on is The James Whitehouse Band, bluesy/rock band, really enjoyed this set, great playing and some nice harmonies too. They are followed by The Kevin Critchley Outfit who I also enjoy a great deal. These are an acoustic rock band, they also have violin and cello. The last band I see on this night are The Trestles, another very good band.

Wednesday 21st off to a new night at The Library called Culture Shock. Great line-up for the first night. I get there around 8, supposed starting time, but the first act doesn't go on till about 9. It's worth the wait though because its Louise Distras who never disappoints and always wins a few new fans wherever she goes. Next up is New York Alcoholic Anxiety Attack, the last few times I've seen them they've done an acoustic set and I'm looking forward to seeing a full band again. The new drummer seems to fit in perfectly, and the trio power out a great set of psychedelic rock. The Mexanines have arrived late and announce they are only going to play 4 songs tonight but by this time I have to go in any case to make it into town for the last train home. I don't think I'm the only person who needs to be home in decent time on a week night, something maybe promoters should consider when arranging nights. I'm sorry to miss Sharp Darts but will be seeing them at the weekend.

The Yalla Yallas
Thursday 22nd, its Bad Brains night at the Carpe Diem, always a good night of "punk and roll". First band is The Human Project, not seen these before but dead impressed. All four band members provide vocals so although they have a powerful sound with a lot of guitar and fierce drumming there are some great harmonies too. Want to see these again soon! Next up are Huddersfield rockers Mr. Shiraz - they've been around for a long time and it shows, this is a brilliant set. Fantastic night so far and the ones I've actually come to see are yet to play. The Yalla Yallas are the headline act, Rob Galloway has shed his boots and they're ready to go. I love this band, though your eyes have to dart about the place to keep track of the lead singer Rob Galloway - pretty soon he's up on bar, I'm not sure how he can balance there, sing and play harmonica! This is fast paced punk rock band, currently playing up and down the country.

Saturday 24th, Delius Lived Next Door in Bradford for Re:Freshers event. British weather is so wonderful, at an outdoor event here in August its was freezing and people had to be coaxed outside, now we're almost in October and the event is indoors but its warm outside! I've been looking forward to this one all weekend, on paper its a brilliant line-up.

Kath and the Mighty Menace
First up is Kath and the Mighty Menace, Kath Edmonds is a great frontwoman, her lyrics and playing style have a lot of punch, the drummer is hitting it like Animal from the muppets and the new bass player seems to have settled in just fine. They've played my favourite song Billy and The Pool Cue too. 

Next up are State of Error, pop punk band from Halifax. These young lads have been playing together for a very long time and always give it 100%. It's not long before the leas singer is up and down the venue to the surprise of a few punters. Followers old and new are swaying their hands and clapping along to the songs when instructed by State of Error. Great set!

The nex band in Kingheadlock, fronted by Christian Greogry's rap style vocals, with a varied style of music behind. I'm loving the reggae beats and people are starting to dance straight away. Very entertaining.

Sharp Darts
Next up are Sharp Darts, one of Bradford's great new talents. I think this a very well rehearsed group of young lads who seem to up their game with every gig. Individually they are all extremely talented and they all play together as one. The vocalist seems to have an uninterested look on his face until he begings to sing and then his face transforms and you can tell he is putting himself into this. Playing a set that increases momentum with every song, I'm always buzzing by the time they have finished.

This has been a great night so far and their are still 2 more acts to play. Music in the changeover is provided by Ebony B, who accepts requests in tweets and is playing some belters. 

The penultimate band are Scaramanga Six, a four piece band with 2 strong frontmen. I've been dying to see this band for ages and its a brilliant set. One of the best live bands I've seen, bought their album after the gig and am really chuffed with that too.

And finally, its time for Middleman. One of my favourite bands. Their set is as brilliant as always, they are so hard to define, if you haven't seen them do so! The frontman raps at an incredible speed but then the songs move into catchy choruses and everyone is bouncing along. The bassist is practically a second front man, great vocals too. A slight technical hitch in the middle of the set meant that we were treated to a poem by Andy. Amazing! 

On Monday 26th I was at Carpe Diem for the Lyrically Justified open mic night which I've not been to since the fringe. I do love this crazy anything goes and everyone is welcome night. Enjoyed seeing Fred ex Red Pills new project and the jamming session.

Various Cruelties
On Thursday 27th, I was at Brudenell Social Club to see Various Cruelties. The night started with Cave Birds, not seen these before but was very impressed, will certainly look out for them again. Next up were Soul Circus. Not seen them for a while, I really like this band, good songs, great frontman and strong backing vocals. Various Cruelties is fronted by Liam O'Donnell who is from Leeds and this is a homecoming gig as part of a UK tour. First thing Liam does is tell everyone to move to the front and get involved and they do, the place is packed with friends and its a great atmosphere. The lead singer has an incredible voice, soulful, I prefer it when he's not on guitar too as I think he puts more into the songs when not hampered by the guitar. The band are great too. Excellent night all round.

Last gig of the month is at Milo on 30th September, first up is Penguin who I am really pleased to see after their short break. Excellent set as always from this young three piece band.  Its incredibly hot in Milo tonight, even more than usual. Penguin who put a lot of energy into their live show are dripping wet by the time they have finished. Next up are Whole Sky Monitor, post punk band, good set though I see about three quarters of it coz the heat is really getting to me. Next up are Midlands band Guile, kind of garage rock/blues band, good set. The headline band is Japanese Fighting Fish, I like this band a great deal but only catch half their set due to train times and overheating! Milo get some air conditioning!

Michelle Dalgety, Yorkshire Music Collective

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