Live at Packhorse on Friday, 6th November 2009
The 360 Club spreads its wings again, this time to incorporate The Packhorse. The usual four band line up is in swing, and first up this evening is solo act, Tom Bradley. A charming coyness about Tom makes him an immediately affable character, as he's perched atop a bar stool with just his acoustic for company. His songs are soulful, reggae light numbers which lull the room into serene stupor. There's a few standards nestling in the set, 'Hit the Road Jack' is executed with a modest, but effortlessly cool reworking. Tom's voice is his real asset. Not once does he falter tonight, and to use an old cliché he's making it look easy. The unashamedly poppy nature of his songs might be a turn off for some but what he does is at least accomplished enough to stand up on its own.
Autohype follow, with the audience swelling in the small upstairs room at The Packhorse. The Leicester five piece are exponents of dance-rock crossover stylings. You know the score: shrieking synths and angular guitars. We get a cheeky toilet humour introduction from the front man, who displays fidgety antics both behind the monitors and in front while tormenting the audience with charisma abound. Pouncing upon onlookers to get them involved and really putting some chutzpah into his entertaining duties, he's certainly fun to watch. That rest of the band holds down an admirably tight set amongst the movement; the big, hooky numbers speak for themselves.
Next up are rock trio The Tempus. They seem a little more subdued, but then that's forgiveable following Autohype's previous efforts. The lads are however a great unit and they breeze through a strong set of straight up riff rock. They mainly avoid any cheesy cock rock outings, sticking with a more British formula that allows for intelligent arrangements. Quite a meaty sound for a trio, particularly the guitarist proves he is more than capable with a few impressive lead parts. The drummer and bassist run a dependable rhythm section, keeping it all together and making sure this is a successful Leeds outing for the band.
The top spot tonight is in the hands of The Peppermint Lounge, a three piece, but with the amount of gear that clutters the stage, you'd think they were an eight strong group. Perhaps the most genuinely creative act of the night, The Peppermint Lounge present a more leftfield approach. Samples, electronic drum kit, trumpets and turntables; their sound is a lush concoction across genres. Hip-hop type beats supplement gloomy electronic rumblings and stabs of melody are prepared over the top, creating a busy yet subtle environment. Of course with so many tools something is inevitably going to play up, and their set is plagued a bit by gremlins, but on the whole they get away with it through the shear fascination their musical potions demand from the audience. It's good to see a band thinking about inventiveness, The Peppermint Lounge are ones to delve further into.
The Tempus are a modern rock band hailing from Bradford.