Posted by Kathryn Holden.
Reviewed on 4th February 2010.
Live at The Elbow Room on Friday, 29th January 2010
In between being constantly asked to move out of the way by these guys wanting to play pool (on a table stupidly situated 10ft away from the stage), a thoroughly good night of exciting live bands was enjoyed at The Elbow Room on Friday night.
Bitterly cold outside, The Elbow Room seemed an other-worldly inferno in comparison; city slickers straight out from work had their shirts un-tucked and their ties lost or forgotten. Everyone seemed to be eating burgers. Coyote Ugly seemed to be the theme.
Admittedly walking in half way through Deathretro's set, I can only say that the three or so songs I managed to hear were pretty sharp. 'Sound of Sirens' thumps along particularly nicely. Deathretro float electric space ship sounds above much grungier guitar riffs that really stimulate the senses. A fair few people looked up from their plates of burgers and chips anyway.
Night Herons continue to charm and show that they're definitely ones to watch on the Leeds scene in 2010. A band that creates a mature and confident sound that far outreaches their tender age. I was particularly impressed by Clare Kelly's live vocals; she sounds every bit as soulful and striking as she does on the band's EP, which is no mean feat considering the tricky acoustics of The Elbow Room. The switch of tempo and cooky synth layers of Systematic Error sounded particularly electrifying on the night.
Teesside prog-rockers Dirty Weekend followed. The phrase 'boys on tour' seems to lend itself nicely: they're bolshie and laddy and loving every minute of being in a band. Think The Twang. Think Hard-Fi circa Stars of CCTV. But actually, better than these in a way because in between the slightly run of the mill social commentary, there are more sensitive moments of insight. 'Sirens', their current single I believe (because they mentioned it about 25 times), does have that Coldplay-esque worldly epicness to it in parts.
Machine Guns & Leather Jackets rounded up the night, and I think it's fair to say, tore the house down. These guys have got so much swagger it's ridiculous. I'm not kidding. They've got that whole BRMC / The Vines / The Datsuns old fashioned dirty rock and roll vibe going. They're like big slabs of raw steak with guitars. Look out for these guys causing havoc in a bar near you. In preparation I would advise the following: grab your leather jacket from under the stairs and don't wash for a week; throw some beer in someone's face and cause a fight; get a naked lady tattooed on your bicep. There, now you're ready for the stinking, rotten, brilliantly indulgent tour-de-force that is Machine Guns and Leather Jackets.