Posted by Rebecca Atkinson.
Reviewed on 16th February 2011.
Live at The Library on Friday, 11th February 2011
Danny and the Lost Souls pull a big crowd early on with their charming brand of funk, soul and rock'n'roll. They look like a very unassuming bunch, front-man Danny Toeman especially, that is until they begin to play and you are thrown straight back into the heyday of rock star cool. Playing music of this ilk in 2011 risks being overly nostalgic, or worse still just irrelevant, but they perform with an enthusiasm and level of ability that is both captivating and entertaining. Drummer Frankie Knowles is particularly impressive with the sticks and complementary backing vocals. Danny and the Lost Souls are not at their best tonight (and 'Lion's Den' is sadly missing from the set-list) but they finish strongly on a well executed and extremely brave cover of The Temptations 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' silencing any potential criticism and leaving everyone gathered with smiles on their faces. (RA)
Self-described 'Funpop' indie kids This Many Boyfriends step up for an on-stage jaunt. With a singer reminiscent, more than just in looks, of a much younger version of the current Blockheads vocalist, a guitarist clearly going for the Tom Morello baseball cap thing, and a drummer looking so bored she might be asleep, it's clear that TMB are not a band afraid of stereotypes. The same applies to their sound, a rough and ready mix of guitar-band riffs and hooks blu-tacked together by a pro-actively sloppy aesthetic and back-to-basics songwriting. The singer prances about with a confident swagger though unfortunately much of the lyrics were lost in the sound mash - a shame as I'd have very much liked to have heard what their attempt at an ode to Paul Simon had to say. (TH)
Over to Ajanta for something baffling. A delicious blend of European folk, stomping blues and irresistible groove, the four piece plough through with some sugar sweet riffs and Mars Volta chunkiness. Some tricky musicianship too in the form of awkward time signatures (the strangely infectious Carry Him Down begins in with a section in a thoroughly wanky 19/8) and playful feel shifts varying in subtlety. The whole set is drenched in world influences too - polka rhythms, Spanish guitar and smatterings of blues - but it never feels too alien when mixed with segments that sound like they might have been ripped from the more spacey end of The Stone Roses back catalogue. Vocally though, the melodies sometimes felt a bit weak for the style but that could be easily forgiven with the witty Spanish guitar solos and the overall rhythmic tour-de-force. Exciting stuff from a band to watch out for. (TH)
Ols Moore And The Gypsy Dogs are really a breath of fresh air in a Leeds music scene dominated by acoustic folk. Replete with a plethora of hats, a cello, an accordion and a violin they bring a little of the deep south to rainy West Yorkshire. The frontman's gravely vocals have drawn comparisons to Tom Waits but it is also easy to see the influence of the likes of Ledbelly and Bob Dylan on the bluesy story-telling nature of the lyrics. Gypsies are really in vogue at the minute thanks to a certain controversial Channel 4 programme but Ols Moore and gang hark back to more romantic gypsy tradition and it is not hard to imagine them entertaining in the Court Of Miracles. After forty minutes it does begin to get a little bit repetitive but they change pace with their encore and the slower more heart-felt number tops off a really brilliant set. Their 7 track EP is out now and it most certainly worth a listen. (RA)
RA - Rebecca Atkinson. TH - Tim Hearson
Funk, Soul, Rock & Roll