Live at Brudenell Social Club on Friday, 3rd July 2015
With the vast majority of the audience soaking up the dregs of a balmy summer evening in the beer garden at the Brudenell Social Club, London based support act Judas pretty much played to an empty floor. Such a shame, not only for the band themselves who, undaunted, played their hearts out, but more so for the punters who missed a truly sizzling set. As with so many other young bands coming through at the moment, Judas look and sound the part, a sort of edgier, darker version of Toploader, with an amazing lead guitarist hunched over his instrument like Simon Gallup from the Cure, hugely absorbing and very enjoyable. The band handed out free CDs after their set (has music really come to this?), go check out 'Love is the Enemy' on Soundcloud, amazing.
Next up, the Red Kites, a stunning five piece band hailing from Inverness, Scotland and brimming with Caledonian spirit in a way that only Big Country have ever really captured (don't panic, that is where the analogy ends!). The Red Kite sound is BIG, as big as a Highland wilderness with all the sweeping colour and spirit which that encompasses. They don't have a particular image, they don't fall into any sort of pre-conceived genre, and that is a good thing because you tend to then approach their music with an open mind in the same way that, perhaps, you'd approach Elbow for instance. I've seen Red Kites twice now, the first time I was interested enough to take note, but this time, they absolutely sizzled at the Brudenell - check out 'Pip's Song' on Soundcloud, but play it LOUD!
Suddenly, the floor was packed in anticipation of the headline act, Pontefract's Glass Caves. What can you say about this band that hasn't already been said? Their peers love them to bits, likewise their amazing fans (there are even a few celeb followers too), yet fame and fortune cruely side-steps them. Unfathomable.
Fresh from an appearance on the Jack Rocks stage at the Isle of Wight festival and rarin' to 'Go' the band launch into the crowd-pleasing first single taken from their self-financed and much acclaimed debut album 'Alive'. All hell breaks loose in the pit and you realise that these guys really are something special. Five piece Red Kites looked comfortable on the Brudenell stage, four piece Glass Caves fit it snug like a glove, it belongs to them, and so does the audience, eating out of singer Matt's hand from the moment he stepped (momentarily late!) onto the stage.
A succession of album tracks follow, most of the crowd singing along, and then they unleash 'Throw down the pistol', a favourite for those who remember their 'Summer Lover' EP from a couple of years ago but not lost on those that don't. The brooding 'Match' follows, such a powerful song live if a little out of kilter with the rest of tonights set, but it needs it, if only to prevent the crowd from exploding! 'Let go' should have been a single in my opinion, Will's driving, stomach-pounding bass and the song's stop/go timing really making it stand out, the peaks pause and then crumble like an avalanche into a swinging grungy riff that has everyone bouncing, it is heady stuff and the crowd love it. "We only have time for one or two more!" "Really? No way!" A few delay drenched bars from guitarist Connor offers intrigue, are they going to play the elusive 'Moongate'? He's teasing, of course, and they launch into the current single 'Out of Control', we're bouncing around again and I have to say, at my age, that's slightly embarrassing but hugely enjoyable! The band encore with 'This Road', one of my all time favourites, afro-topped drummer, Elliot, at one with his shimmering gold drum kit, running at break-neck speed and showing no sign of stopping until he's good and ready! And then its over, we've been driven to a precipice and left at the edge, and it feels good!
Glass Caves, check them out (no, seriously check them out - coming soon to a venue near you!).
Four piece alternative rock band from the York/Leeds area in the UK.