Live at The Library on Friday, 11th November 2011
Another week, another 360 Club and tonight's line-up features bands all of which I've witnessed before so it's going to be interesting to see how they've progressed.
Broken Sunsets start off the night with a bit of an indie kick. A definite jump up from last time, these boys have a more confident stride about them and that comes through especially in the vocals and bass playing. The drums too, retain their solid basis and the set is shaping up nicely - plenty of musicality. My only criticism is that the choppy guitar feels a little more out of place than last time, it needs tightening up to make sure it fits the mould.
Next up are Phonetics who bash out an emphatically passionate set. Ballsy vocals and some sterling songs make this well worth your time, but you somehow get the impression they've still got even more to give. Tints of Franz Ferdinand and a smattering of Post-Punk, they're not going to blow you away with originality but there's plenty to work with here. Possibly the most convincing band of the evening.
Eskimo Sandwich return for another 360 Club jaunt and somehow still looking younger than ever. For those yet unacquainted, they're an inoffensive, passionate pop-rock outfit with catchy tunes played with soul and whose gorgeous 3-part harmonies won't fail to melt the heart of even the sternest of northern mothers. It's still a razor tight set but I can't help feeling I've seen them play better. For their penultimate number they hop down from the lofty height of the Library stage (all 12" inches) to play acoustically from the centre of the crowd. A bold move and pulled off so well - I've been waiting for a band to finally do this. From then on, the crowd were theirs but had they done it 3 songs earlier, the set might have been just that little bit more special.
Pulling up the rear and in emphatic fashion are Sub|Serene, a decisive rebranding of Empire Safari, with new material embracing their more electronic side. Tonight the new packaging comes complete with on-screen visuals, artistic loops that complement the music nicely and are a sterling addition to any band with sprawling soundworlds. Not just a new name though, this feels like a set from a band who are maturing well - some excellent drumming and the synth work finally taking form above mere accompaniment. The vocals, however, come across as the weakest part, sitting very low in the mix. It's not a lack of confidence, this band have it to spare, but I'd love to hear more of it. A very promising first outing though.
Eskimo Sandwich are an explosion of soulful sound, as memorable vocal melodies intertwine with intricate guitar and bass arrangements, underpinned by dynamic drumming, complementary keyboards and heroic vocal harmonies.
Phonetics are a four piece 'inidie'/ 'lo-fi' band from Leeds. Check out their Facebook & SoundCloud pages for music and news.