Live at Joseph's Well on Sunday, 17th April 2005
Let's get this over with. Western Suburbs have a female drummer. She's hot. Men stare, under the pretence they are watching the singer of course, but you can see their eyes wander slightly toward the back of the stage. If she wasn't so cute though they'd all still be looking as Western Suburbs serve up a warm helping of Americana and she pounds the drums in a way which sticks a dainty cowboy boot up the derriere of anyone who might suggest women can't thump the tubs.
It's refreshing to hear a band actually playing real songs, structures, lyrics, melodies... the band look at ease on stage and convey warmth and honesty through their music. The vocalist looks like James Beattie and sounds like Jeff Tweedy. Both are good things in my book, one appealing to my Blue heart and the other to my musical one, the latter should be good in everyone's book.
Fans of Wilco, Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams at his countrified best and many others of that ilk will find great pleasure in these well written and beautifully performed tunes. Let's hope that pedal steel becomes a regular fixture on the stages of Leeds.
Turning the dials up are Bradford's LaRusso. Still with youth on their side, if not sobriety, the band have plenty of experience on a stage and it shows. Leaping around and generally rocking the shit out of a half empty room like their lives depend on it, the passion comes through in sound and vision. The guitars rip and crack out the songs, propelled along by a a rhythm section that would make Thor shit in his tights.
The songs have power balanced with melody and choruses to kill for. This is a band that have it all, a little more refinement and smoothing of the edges could see this band on much bigger stages, especially with killer hits such as "Team America". A must for all rock fans in West Yorkshire and beyond.
Another band from Bradford, it's almost an invasion! Bad Beat Revue are all about smashing out rock tunes loaded with a nice big portion of swagger and gusto. The band fire out each tune as vocalist Pat teeters almost permanently on the edge of his monitor, grinning like he knows something we don't before skipping off round the stage again, throwing himself to his knees, leaping to his feet and then ripping open his shirt. All the while he howls into the microphone, dragging us into BBR's hurricane of chirpy rock tunes that drill into your head better than a dentist with a nervous twitch.
As the drums and bass groove away, each side of the stage is manned by a guitarist who both add powerful backing vocals, creating a nice powerful sound, most evident on the awesome "Still Cheating" which closes the set and refuses to leave anyone's head. Possibly ever.
Probably the best section of the weekend, just a shame that most people missed it, you can only feel sorry for them though, they'll learn one day.