On 14th February 2005 at 11:51 Michael Q wrote...
Glad you enjoyed the show Mr Lunn!
Live at Cardigan Arms on Sunday, 30th January 2005
Town. Okay. Everyone knows where town is right? That's a good place to start. Now, make your way up to Park Row. Wait at the bus stop right at the very top of the road, and every 10 minutes a number 33 bus will come chugging along. If you hop onto one it'll take you about ten minutes down Kirkstall Road where you'll find a McDonalds and the cinema formally known as Warner Village. Just over the road you'll also find one of the best little venues in Leeds - the Cardigan Arms.
The reason I'm saying this is because tonight's turnout is as follows. There are a grand total of 8 people in the room. One of them is James Skinner. He's brought a friend. Then there are the two members of Dead Peter and the three from Steer. Finally there's the soundman. 8 people. And a reviewer, but that doesn't count. In fact if you take away the bands and soundman then that leaves 1 consenting audience member. Maybe people are skint after Christmas. Maybe people haven't got round to Beat Promotions moving here from the Fenton. Maybe the bands just didn't try hard enough. Whatever, at the end of the day all three acts were definitely good enough to deserve a better audience than this.
Anyway, onto the performance.
First up is the aforementioned James Skinner, who sounded vaguely reminiscent of quiet REM at points, which is a good thing. Apart from that I can think of very little to comment upon. Yes, James is good and played an enjoyable set, but at the moment there are wealth of singer songwriters in Leeds, in fact I'd argue that there are more competent solo artists around in Leeds than there are bands, as a result the levels needed to stand out are a lot higher. He's gonna have to raise his game a bit I feel.
A cello and a keyboard. Great stuff. Always nice to see that guitars aren't the be all and end all of the pop'n'roll universe. It's even better to hear. Steer's songs definitely vie to keep your attention, as the melodies change and different sections intersperse. There's a lot going on here. It's a welcome break from the good old 4/4 verse chorus formula. Add on top of this the vocal harmonies and the results are really rather good. The only downside being that despite the guitarist having a rather snazzy Gibson, the tone and overall sound is nowhere near as impressive as the first act's guitar, which appeared to be a Yamaha you can pick up for under £100. Strange.
Dead Peter. Dead Peter are the aftermath of Charly Six, who I'd heard quite a lot of good about despite never actually seeing play live. Further wondering regarding the size of the audience... nether-the-less they proceed to belt out their songs, and I mean BELT. Singer Danny is bellowing words with one of the most powerful voices I've heard in a while, (think Chris Robochrist doing his solo acoustic stuff) while Mike bangs away on his single snare, and achieves quite a varied range of sounds and moods, which is surprising given the obvious limitations. There's bags of passion here despite the empty room, the same of which can be said of all the acts tonight. It would have been easy to give a halfhearted performance. Not so.
They go on to play a couple of old Charly Six numbers, 'Cut You Off' a b-side to their first single, which sounds ten times better in the flesh, and second single 'Take Your Hands From Me'. It would be nice to see how Dead Peter would sound with a full band, Mike behind a complete kit and Danny having to compete with overdriven guitars, acoustically they were decent enough but I cant help thinking that playing as a full band is where their hearts really lie.