Live at Brudenell Social Club on Tuesday, 17th March 2015
Nominally an EP launch gig for Fizzy Blood this free show at the Brudenell was really a showcase for several young, talented bands from the Leeds area and served to reinforce just the buoyant health of the local music scene. As well as the headline act there were impressive, sometime incendiary sets from Kell, Yawning Dog and Bi:Lingual.
Yawning Dog offered up a wonderfully chaotic, energetic, no holds barred set of heavy rock that melded the quasi-metal riffs of Alice In Chains with the unbridled attitude of prime Nirvana. Grow encapsulated the best elements of the band with its crunching riffs underpinned by Dave Grohl-like drumming and overlaid by vocals that at times were concerned with melody and at others dispensed with any notion of tunefulness in favour of full throated shrieking but the performance was never less than compelling, the contortions and gyrations of the band members impossible to take your eyes off. Both Ghost, a raucous concoction smothered in feedback and the slower, marginally more melodic Sugar maintained the high quality. At the end of their set you are left in no doubt that Yawning Dog are a fantastic live band.
Bi:Lingual also relied heavily on big riffs but they offered something entirely different to Yawning Dog. In fact what they offer is something almost entirely different to most bands on the local rock circuit, for what they offer is a Rage Against The Machine-influenced union of rap and metal performed with great accomplishment and facility. Doppelgänger, a supreme piece of metal featuring pounding riffs, guitar solos and a howled chorus full of frustrated anger, was performed with absolute conviction, the band throwing themselves around like cats with cabin fever. Spiderweb, the other highlight of a blistering set, which in this version at least, was swathed in slinky bass lines, seductive guitar lines and another chorus that hits you in the solar plexus with the force of a truck. Half way through their set they proved their ability with some improvisation, that saw singer Dylan deliver a very impressive freestyle rap that featured both lyrical dexterity and lung busting speed. All in all superb stuff.
After Bi:Lingual picked themselves off the floor all that remained was for Fizzy Blood to show that they merited top billing. This the Leeds five piece largely did with a strong set of rock tunes that veered closer to the 'classic' end of the genre's spectrum than any of the preceding acts. With their tattoos and all black clothing they looked every bit the hipster rock stars that their music suggests they aspire to be. During their set they displayed an infectious swagger that had the good sized crowd responding enthusiastically. Slick, well-rehearsed and oozing charisma the band unveiled several well-honed slices of riff rock. Typical of their sound was January Suns, a passionate punch of a song built around the kind of riff that the current incarnation of Arctic Monkeys specialise in, that buillt to a surging crescendo of the sort that will be familiar to fans of Queens of the Stone Age. But it wasn't all serious rock. The band exhibited a more light-hearted side with a clever reworking of Human League's Don't You Want Me that was filled with multiple harmonies and impressive musicianship.
Fizzy Blood's set was a fine introduction to a promising band but we will need to wait to assess whether their achievements can match their ambition.