Posted by Michael Starkey.
Reviewed on 1st January 2004.
Live at Cockpit on Saturday, 7th December 2002
Fifth Goodbye were the first band of the evening's entertainment, and they had to put in a very solid performance to be able to stand up to the following bands, and a solid performance it was. In the last review I did of this band, I criticised the singer, however last night he was excellent and showed a very impressive vocal range, I take back my words. Several minor technical problems got in the way of a good performance. The singer's guitar wouldn't stay in tune, and a guitar swap was in order, although it will teach him to fit new strings at least a week before a gig, and the band's confusion to how long they had left at the end of the set. These minor incidences are what stop the band from making the next step to headline the Cockpit. They seemed a little nervous all the way through the gig; although they seemed to be enjoying the evening, as were the 90+ crowd that had come to see them. As the gig wore on the band seemed to become more comfortable and the crowd got more life into them. Their last song was by far their best song, and finished what was a very enjoyable performance. All this band need to do is cut out the little errors and technical hitches, but apart from that I was very impressed, and it is no surprise to me that they are moving on from the Morley bands and becoming a true part of the Leeds Music Scene, alongside the bands that were to follow.
When I heard the name Little Big Men I was very sceptical, and thought that they were going to play ska or some other bollocks, but this was not to be, and an indie/punk with a similar style to Fifth Goodbye opened up. The singer had an excellent voice with was backed up by an equally excellent voice. However after a few songs the lack of versatility started to show and I was more inclined to go to the back of the room and drink beer and chat to some mates than to go to the front and listen to the music. This may just be my own tastes showing now, but I think that 3-piece bands lack a certain edge and quality that 4-piece bands can give. If you like this style then you will like this band, and they are definitely worth seeing.
Martha are one of the best Leeds bands I have seen recently. Their singer has an excellent voice, which even rivals the singing of that brilliant Leeds band, Valhalla (my favourite Leeds band). The look of this band also seems to be a priority, and rightly so, apart from the lead guitarist's freakishly similar looks to a lad I used to go to school with. The music, the look, the sound. A very professional and solid band, who are definitely worth paying a fiver to go see. They started with songs in the style of Muse, which all had sustained vocal choruses which were very impressive indeed. I was expecting Martha to play more songs that sounded like the opening couple of songs, but to my surprise they played several different styles during the set, ranging from soft songs in C, to capo'ed up melodic songs, to harder Muse style songs. This performance even inspired me to purchase their 3 track EP 'Kids Knee Deep in the Power of Love' and for me to purchase a local band's demo is indeed a rarity in itself. Their performance was an eye-opener to me, and showed me the vast difference between good bands and great bands. What a performance, if you have not yet seen Martha, catch them whilst it still only costs a fiver. Remember the name, Martha!!!