Live at The Library on Friday, 13th July 2012
It's mid July and despite the obvious lack of students around Leeds, tonight's 360 Club is suitably busy by the time openers Secrets Of Kaplan take to the stage. The three-piece write complex, well structured songs and it is obvious that they are all technically accomplished musicians in their own right which makes it all the more disappointing that their set fails to ignite. Perhaps because they are a little too ambitious with their individual parts there are several quite noticeable mistakes and they often fall out of time. Vocally too front man Damien Selby's voice doesn't seem robust enough to carry the heavier sections of their songs and his pleasant vocal would possibly sound better if used to harmonise alongside another singer. That said there is obvious potential here, the more math-rock sections and disjointed guitar parts are intriguing and with a little fine tuning they could definitely better showcase the talent that they all clearly possess.
Ilkley's Beneath The Headlights have a more straight forward rock sound which subtly and successfully combines elements of punk, funk and grunge. They create a hell of a racket for a three-piece and while there are some distinctly unrefined moments in the performance, there is something fresh and exciting about their take on such tried and tested genres. The Metallica-esque slow-burning 'Faultlines' is by the best song in their set as it rises and falls broodingly and despite being a relatively new band they have already established a distinct sound and live they prove to be a stirring prospect. The songs do become a little samey towards the end of their thirty minutes and some of the lyrics could use a little work but all the foundations of a very good band are already there and they receive a warm reception here tonight.
With polished electro-tinged rock songs, entertaining on stage personas and signed pictures of Cilla Black, Talk To Angels have it all. Powerful melodic moments, big hooky choruses and driven guitar parts form the basis of an incredibly well written set topped off by an impressive and varied vocal display from Craig Kaye. The band has recently undergone several line-up changes (although you wouldn't know it from tonight's display) but original members Kaye and the equally talented keyboardist Mickey Dale interact well both in their music and in their onstage repartee. They are the essence of the band in the same way as Lennon and McCartney or Richards and Jagger and it is this pairing which makes Talk To Angels so captivating. That is not to detract from the rhythm section who are not just solid but inventive throughout and, unlike the opening act, all four members manage to shine as individuals whilst complementing their band mates perfectly. Musically they are more than impressive, on stage they are undoubtedly compelling and they also somehow manage to maintain a level of professionalism despite several references to 'dogs shagging' which in itself deserves praise.
Final act of the night Ballyhoo/Eventide are always a pleasure to see live not just because of the music but because of the infectious enthusiasm which they bring to every performance, playing every gig as though they are onstage at Wembley. The dance tinge to their music has seen fitting comparisons to Deadmau5 but it's Deadmau5 combined with Muse inspired squalling guitar and almost falsetto vocals. They are a highly experimental band and although not everything quite comes off the fact that they are daring (or perhaps mad) enough to try it counts for something. They often sound as though they are on the borderline of breaking down completely but then rein it in meaning the off kilter breaks and unusual drumming patterns sound wonderfully like Biffy's more adventurous instrumental sections. Ballyhoo/Eventide take popular rock bands as their inspiration and inject energy and humour into their shows which makes for a truly unique and engaging end to the evening.
Beneath The Headlights are a three-piece Indie/Grunge/Rock band from Ilkley
Alt rock trio from Skipton / Halifax