Live at Brudenell Social Club on Friday, 1st February 2008
As expected from a night run by omnipresent and ever-insane Leeds musicians / promoters / general busybodies Adam Benbow-Browne (Café Adam, Ad Hoc) and Matt Reid (Chickenhawk, The Grand March, ex-Whores Whores Whores), things get off to an unusual start with a rabbit playing Street Fighter in the middle of the room. The less said about it the better, probably, as although opening act Pixel! Pixel! Pixel! Does provide for something of a talking point, the general consensus of such conversation is that it's all a bit pretentious and rubbish. Thankfully, things quickly take a nice twist.
Because, after a frankly obscure opening, there's barely a bad word to say about the remaining acts on the bill. Almost impossible to fault, Red Stars Parade blast their brutal prog-metal with enough talent, power and charisma to make Humanfly run crying for their mummies. The Gentleman's Pistols look like the Kings of Leon and sound like Zeppelin having a really dirty shag behind the dustbins. It's filthy, throwaway dirt-rock, and it's delivered with such a fascinating panache that it's difficult to see this four-piece destined for anything but big things. Completing the support sets, crazy-metal veterans Bilge Pump aren't at their finest tonight, but that's hardly an insult to a band who have been consistently excellent for as long as I can remember. It's heavy, it's funny, it's jazzy, it's dark, and it's - unfortunately - not quite loud enough compared to the ear-splitting drive of the previous acts. Tellingly, it's still great.
On to the main event, then: a small, bearded man in a hoody; an unassuming yet compelling bloke who'll probably end up looking like the master from Kill Bill. His set is difficult to pin down musically, jumping freely as it does between childlike twinkling and hardcore raver madness. The room's packed, and DJ Scotch Egg plays in the middle of the chaos, jumping about in the crowd, stage-diving, and generally acting like you'd expect the creator of such obscure and edgy yet endearing dance music to behave. It's brilliant, beyond brilliant, and the 200-or-so people in attendance are audibly disappointed when the house lights come on after the set, crushing all hopes of an encore.
With wildly successful nights such as this one, the Brudenell is truly cementing itself as one of the north's finest live music establishments - and this particular event, this evening of intensely brilliant music, stands out as one of the venue's finest in some time.
File Under Heavy Rock.