Live at Royal Park Cellars on Friday, 20th June 2003
A very fine evening of music was presented by Logo Magazine in conjunction with Leeds based Uglyman Music Ltd and Stuckup Music. For those who don't know Logo is a very influential indie magazine based in London / Southampton. It is web based and comes in a nice glossy format and... it's free.
The first act was Rachel Dadd - a solo singer/songwriter who captivated the small but appreciative audience with her charming songs and endearing stage presence. Rachel sounds like a cross between Joni and Alanis - very sweet and clear. It's a shame that not many people came down to see Rachel - I'm sure that we'll hear more of her.
The next act, Bruise, were very different. A visually stunning trio fronted by the excellent Isobel Morris. Think early, raw Annie Lennox - tall, blonde crew cut and a voice that soars. What a presence on stage. Excellent songs, lots of attitude - great guitar playing (open tuning and with her thumb, I think). A scarily exciting set that left me breathless. If you get the chance, go to see this band.
By this time the audience was building in anticipation of Bodixa but next on were Fleeing New York, an excellent three piece fronted by guitarist and Kurt Cobain look-alike Russell Marsden. This was passionate rock, well played and executed. Good songs, pounding riffs that get right in your head - in particular "Scandinavia" and not unlike JJ72 in their quieter moments when female bassist Emma Richardson takes the vocals. The future looks bright for this exciting band.
Finally, Bodixa. The place is rammed. Acoustic guitar and drums open the great track "Bathroom Window" - singer Anna Elias takes to the stage and opens with her beautiful vocals - as Radio 1 put it "what a voice". I've seen Bodixa several times and they just get better. Better songs, better delivery - very professional. Bodixa play for almost an hour - blissful songs, epic and full of tension with Anna wringing every emotion from the songs. The audience loved it. It's hard to understand why this band aren't topping the charts. Maybe one day the music business will wake up and take notice of this unique and brilliant band.
All in all a great evening of music. Four bands, three hours and all for four quid - great value. The bands were very different but complemented each other well...something for everyone. The bands will now go on to play Logo nights in London and Southampton later in the year. If you get chance to go, do so. Hopefully Logo will repeat this experiment and bring more bands up to Leeds.