Live at The Library on Friday, 29th January 2010
Tom Bradley rocks up, takes straight to the stage, and within seconds is in full flow of his swaying reggae pop. Ideally placed first on the bill here, Tom is a dab-hand at making highly accessible tunes for attention grabbing. The drifty, laid back grooves are, as ever, delivered with a self-assured confidence. The band work so instinctively together that there's barely even any eye contact needed to make it work. Tom has found his niche and sticks to it with faithful enthusiasm. His cosy, yet upbeat melodic style is sure to have made an impression.
I had looked forward to Hunting Bears tonight after their top debut before Christmas at the Packhorse. This group are only on their second gig and have already pretty much established a bench mark for any folky goings on in Leeds. Hunting Bears have got rid of the mallow, one dimensional drone of a lot of contemporary folk and given the whole thing a more interesting arrangement. There's still the beautifully dulcet whisperings of dainty instruments, but they also liven it up with more rousing numbers that carry a carnivalesque spirit. The old world stylings collide with west coast melody and harmony to great effect. They're fascinating to watch, not least because of their amazing consistency despite the waltzer of rotating instrumentalists. The audience are met with a deeply stripped down yet splendorous performance with a set of enchanting, hymnal songs. You'll not find them on the net yet, so get to a gig...immediately.
Following in a not dissimilar vein to Tom Bradley is Tom Gee and band. Shaping up as every bit the professional act they sound, Tom has employed dual female backing singers and a tight rhythm section. Polished, well groomed and smooth as hell; he's is a supplier of shimmering funk rock akin to crying guitar styles of Carlos Santana and John Mayer. The gloss-blues appeal of his sound is executed with acute attention to detail. There's really little here to give Tom away as an unsigned act. Comfortable and cool, he orchestrates a set of expert tunes which are sure to win over a few amongst tonight's crowd. A very talented band and an arsenal of pop friendly songs, offering rest bite from the landfill indie mound will surely stand him in good stead.
Folky six piece from Leeds