On 7th October 2009 at 13:00 Dave LMS wrote...
I've not heard any of the bands before but I did enjoy reading your review Tom. I have a sense of each band now and will explorer further. Thanks!
Live at HiFi Club on Wednesday, 30th September 2009
HiFi is suitably bustling tonight as the 360 Club presents this week's round of unsigned acts from Leeds. Even a burst pipe incident in the club has failed to put a dampener on the anticipatory mood, if you'll pardon the pun!
An army of musicians clamber up on to the stage as the first act, The Clifford Village Band, get the evening underway. An eclectic instrumental lineup gives a detailed sound, and there's loads going on. Saying that, the band also seems capable of a more delicate stripped down sound which gives you sense of their tender side. It's mainly led by a prominent acoustic guitar, and decorated with warming violin and brass sounds. The Clifford Village Band bring to mind the lush orchestral pop of groups like Beirut, but also veer into rawer territory, with rousing country influenced numbers. Enthusiasm and passion comes across throughout the set, particularly in the frontman with his fervent vocal delivery. A lighthearted reworking of the 'Hey Arthur' theme raises a few smiles among the audience.
Second on the bill are five piece, Doctor Dot. The first number is a rocksteady pop outing. Trumpet stabs and a playful, bouncy bass seem to induce some movement down the front, and the band takes confidence in the positive reception. The rest of the set panders to a peculiarity in the ska/punk (call it what you will) scene that encourages a mash-up of sorts between genres. Personally, metal guitars between the choppy syncopation of ska rhythms isn't my bag, but the popularity of acts such as Sonic Boom Six give Doctor Dot a road to tread, and to their credit their creativity keeps this fresh. A shared lead vocal arrangement between the two guitarists is a nice idea, but is unfortunately hampered by the female half becoming lost in the mix. When the momentum is in flow, Doctor Dot deliver some exciting noise. The potential is there, they just need to rein in the strengths of their sound and boil it down for a solid performance. Promising pop melodies suggest that they could do well with this.
The top spot is in the hands of Clear The Sky tonight, playing a heavy style of pop punk with some metal riffery. The sound is absolutely saturated in distortion, which doesn't do the lads justice. If they'd backed it off a little, the audience might have had an easier time appreciating the furious guitar work going on. They have a crack at the opulence of Muse and the conviction of the Foo Fighters, and there's even some of the pioneering side by side guitar rocking of 'the Quo'. It's slowed down for a couple of intense emo type, epic power rock portions; the kind for people who would chunder at the very thought of calling your band The Clifford Village Band. A pair of devil horns in the speccy face of twee pop then.
Folk Pop to put a song in your heart and a spring in your step