Posted by Rebecca Atkinson.
Reviewed on 11th August 2011.
Live at The Library on Friday, 5th August 2011
Another Friday night, another 360 Club and another pretty good turn out for August largely thanks to the first act. Sawsound usually play as a full band but tonight front man Simon Whitton strips things back to the barebones for a solo performance and he does well in an unforgiving acoustic medium. Whitton has a pleasing breathy tone to his voice and he emotes well while his guitar work is accomplished with few mistakes. Sawsound's music is bluesy and post grungey in places but not in an abominable Chad Kroeger way. He proves himself to be an accomplished songwriter with an excellent performance full of subtle nuance and passionate execution and while this is not the same spectacle as the full band, it is an unusually impressive display from one man and his guitar.
Next up are The Broken Buttons, a three-piece who initially seem like a typical pub rock band but as the set progresses reveal themselves to be a good (if not great) blues influenced classic rock outfit. They make good use of dual vocals and although bass player Dan Wilson has the more interesting voice the two they complement each other and combine well on several of the choruses. They close on 'Bad Blood' which is a hi-light with Wilson's gravely vocals on key despite illness backed by a strutting deep south vibe like the soundtrack to a particularly seedy vampire encounter in True Blood. Their set is about two songs too long but all in all it's a strong performance full of big hooks and some surprisingly heavy QOTSA-esque instrumental sections for a three piece.
Tiny Giants take to the stage with a familiar sound encompassing Kasabian like tracks with some vocal acrobatics that Matt Bellamy would approve of. For the majority of the set the lyrics take a back seat and many of the songs lack verses but they more than make up for it musically embracing elements of the blues, funk and rock but all played at top speed. They are incredibly hooky and it's a dynamic and enjoyably unrelenting performance; high octane, riff laden and backed by driving drums. Tiny Giants epitomise the kind of music that Leeds and the surrounding area has become infamous for producing. It's beer swilling lad rock but it's done well and they have certainly come a long way from their humble beginnings in a kebab shop.
Last but absolutely not least are These Blue Arms. It's early days for the band but you wouldn't know it from the display that they put on tonight. They are confident and self-depreciating in all the right places and the songs themselves are excellently written and powerfully delivered. They look and sound the part with a punk rock/grunge hybrid in the same vein as The Computer or Leamington Spa's finest SHARKS. The bratty vocals and potent drumming contrast with Billie Joe Armstrong inspired singing to add diversity to their energetic performance. A surprise MGMT cover played hard and fast proves that they are already comfortable in their sound and there are some real two and a half minute gems here. These guys are surely going to be making waves on the scene in the coming months as tonight they are a real revelation.
Rock/ Progressive band - A dedication to musical evolution!! We are building an arsenal against the mediocre. Join us, check out the tunes and dates.