Support bands - Cowtown - we only caught the last few songs but pretty good, proper songs, nice band interplay, strong voice, one to watch, dead young.
That Fucking Tank - too loud, one trick pony, a bit miserable for me although clearly adept at what they were doing. Plenty of amp fiddling before they started revealed a horrifying builders bum on the guitarist.
What can i say about this band? Well they are good enough for me to go to the most expensive gig i have been too. The travel and the ticket cost around £80. I didn't pay that see see Pink Floyd, TWICE!! Am i mad? Probably. Am i obsessed? Certainly. Was it worth it? Undoubtedly.
Details on the bands website are sketchy, they have the Thursday gig that i saw them written in as a Friday gig, when in fact they were in Brighton on the Friday. The Leeds gig is advertised as a Birmingham gig. With gaps between the dates. It is possible though, looking at the schedule that this was in fact their last UK gig on this tour, They have about 5 more dates in Europe then it reads...
FUCKING GO HOME
The other thing is that i keep discovering bands i fall in love with after they have split up. I am determined to see this outfit as much as i can whilst they are available.
So, we arrive at the venue (i'll use the other thread for pre and post gig stuff). What a strange venue. My dad used to drag us down this working mens club when we were kids and i was almost transported back there when we walked in. Walls and furniture colours just clash a little with each other. The sofas built in against the walls, highly polished but wobbly tables. Cheap beer. Then you see the stage which also transported me back to a time in my late teens early twenties when i used to go see these punk bands. A painted matt black brick wall rises up behind the stage area. It was like a bat cave in a 1970's garden centre cafe.
Cowtown, as Butts says were good. They made a big noise for a group that consisted of a drummer, a guy on guitar and vocals and a girl who played keyboards and joined in drumming on the last (?) track. They were spikey, lots of stops and changes, you really had no idea where they were going to go. Mick and i discussed the fact that one song used a different time signature (4/4 being the one used in 98% of music) we couldn't work out which one they were using, mainly because Mick was a little giddy and i'm a fuckwit. The afore mentioned McCann said that he got a B-52's feel from them. I agree but they were a little more than that. I would be interested to see them again. I know that Foo particularly enjoyed the guitarists 'robot head' movements he did for one track. It wasn't clear to start, as Foo said, whether this was actually a nervous tick or a dance, but we credited it to a dance.
That Fucking Tank. I had seen the clip posted by Butts and was wary. Far, far FAR too loud. I mentioned to my companions that i thought if you trimmed out certain parts of the entire 20 mins they were on (felt like an hour) you would have possibly got a great 4-5 min song. I was just thinking something when Foo leaned over and said my thoughts. What this act was about was a man wanking on the guitar whilst his mate played the drums. The guitarist was clearly his biggest fan. I got the impression that he really thinks he has hit on something new, exciting. He may even consider himself to be the inventor of a whole new genre. He plays the same guitar part for a minute or two, the drummer will change the beat during this, it offers a refreshing change and sounds great, but i am convinced that it sounds great simply because it is a change. Finally, the nail in the coffin for me was this. He is a fairly portly man, his guitar rests upon a bit of a tummy. He must be around my age. At least 3 times in the set he did some sort of kung-fu kick. If he was trying to look like a complete dick he succeeded, if he was trying to do anything else, anything conceivable, including a satirical nod to Elvis during the Vegas years, he failed. One of the two strangest moments of the night were provided by this lot. They had played the first section ( I wont say track as they pretty much all sounded like the part of one big track) and the crowd applauded. The drummer then motions for the crowd to walk forward, in that palms up and lift the fingers way and like something from Jonestown the standing audience all shuffled forward. I have no idea if they had been told to stand clear until further notice earlier but it is one of the strangest things i have ever seen.
The main act!!
God i love this lot. I mean really love them. I could watch them go shopping. I want to believe that they all live in the same flat all the time and go on adventures. I want to read about those adventures in a comic, in that sort of Look In Stylee. It is about that engagement that they have with each other that Butts talks about that keeps me just looking at them. I have been in a 'band' and at moments (precious few) we'd get something together that was working and with those knowing looks all know to change it, and at the same time to the same thing, it feels purely magic. Watching them do that is also magical. I'm watching them perform, interact and really the music is a blasting soundtrack to that. They hold me captivated like a moth to the flame. To use a phrase 'they speak to me' but simply by what they're doing, the noise that comes from that i also find highly agreeable.
Second strange thing of the night involves Mick McCann, Thee Oh Sees and possibly (needs discussion) my first real life experience of Leedsness.
So Brian is tuning up one of his guitars before they start, it is a green Burns Electric. I never got close enough to see, but i was half convinced that although it was a twelve string model, he did only have 6 strings on it. The crowd are fairly quiet, there had been the very odd cheer, one or two maybe, not the frenzy that was building in London at this point. Mick and i discuss the guitar and Mick decides he is going to walk down to the stage front to see if he has 12 or 6 strings on it. I thought this was a really bad idea. Considering Micks condition and remembering the frenzy that had erupted at the last gig i saw them play. Off he goes. The band play two numbers. The crowd hardly moved. I had on briefly noticed this due to being transfixed by the band themselves and at one point making a point of looking out for Mick in the concern for his welfare. I need not have bothered. I could have got through that crowd carrying 8 pints of ale and not spilled a drop. Mick returns after the end of the second song (it was the full 12 string). It was only during the third that the crowd started moving a bit, eventually later in the set there was a fair bit of 'moshing' that led to a couple of lads getting injured (nothing major) but even at it's height it was nothing compared to what i had seen in London. During the London gig people were crowd surfing during the first number and there were at least 3 surfers or divers during each number, not so in Leeds.
Either Mick had restrained them all whilst down the front, explaining to each and everyone of them that he has had this operation and he would appreciate their cooperation by not jiggling about and just stick to head bobbing until he got out of there, OR, Leeds crowds are a little more reserved at gigs.
Anyways i loved the whole night. The venue i loved, the bands i loved (even the middle lot had a sort of comedy appeal to me during parts, the kicking parts mainly) and the company i was with i love even more.
Great night worth every single one of the 8000 or so pennies i spent getting into this gig. _________________ Ich Komm aus Kruezberg du Musschi!
Yes, I think we saw Leedness at first hand, I've certainly seen rowdier crowds at the Brudenell but expected this to top it. The venue is about perfect I'd say, the acoustics are always spot on and the general lay-out just lends itself to the live experience. I'm glad you enjoyed them again, I've been to back to back gigs when the second has always been an anti-climax. They are well worth travelling to see, which I gladly will if Leeds isn't on their radar next time.
I enjoyed Thee Oh Sees very much. Extremely slicik (in a mad way) entertaining and they're convinced by what they're doing. I'd like to hear their recorded stuff. Just to say this lot also had 'B52's moments'.
Really enjoyed Cow Town who brought to mind Devo and The B52s without synth sounds. Very, very tight and clever but for a purpose. I'd recommend anyone to go see them if you get chance....which you should they're a Leeds band.
Didn't dislike the Armley band as much as everyone else, quite brave to just have drummer and guitarist, no vox, and the drummer could play. Guitarist could play as well but he was a bit messy, not helped by the fact that his bottom end was cranked up and his top end was missing. He did stuff that looks and sounds harder than it is but didn't quite nail it - like hammering on with right and left hand and harmonics on diferent parts of neck from norm - not nec them but that sorta stuff. Thought, if used in a trad band, you could get a few tunes and exciting moments out of them.
The company was huge and I'd like to apologise for holding up the moshing until the third song, I was just enjoying watching the Thee Oh Sees singer/guitarist up close. I realised I was being selfish and ushered the kids into the pit as I left. _________________ +
From the committee of the wise, the directorate of the witty and the society of weird willies.
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