Live at Brudenell Social Club on Friday, 21st March 2008
I'm a prat. Got my times muddled and missed out on opening band Chops. Oops. I hear they were stupid but great, so that's that one hastily out of the way.
So as far as I'm concerned, Don't Look Down are up first. This is a very promising young three-piece fronted by an immensely talented Christy Sherry, whose surname may ring a bell for less than pleasant reasons. Christy still has a couple of years of his second decade to go, but he already has the persona of a rock god: the brilliant kind of arrogance that's endearing rather than irritating. He owns the stage, and his partners in crime are of sufficient quality to hold together these fantastic three-minute pop punk songs brilliantly. These lads really need to stick at what they're doing. If they do, it'll go far.
Silverlode wear slightly puzzling black makeup and play prog music. But it's the good kind of prog music that sounds like a quirky, poppier version of Pink Floyd, with occasional folk sprinklings replacing the cheese. It's actually pretty good, despite being the sort of music that wouldn't show up on many Leeds music radars at the minute. Special bonus points go to bass player Scott for wearing a ridiculous straw hat.
The Terminals kick out some pretty standard raucous indie-punk with lots of shouting and leather jackets. Their sound is good, but everything's a little predictable and nondescript. Still, they kick out a decent, professional half hour set that's understandably well-received. Shame about the neckerchiefs.
Die Video Die are one of those bands that's just really good, regardless of your musical tastes. It's indie, and pretty straightforward indie at that, but it has that important edge to it. The rhythms are driving and urgent, the vocals are strong and laden with hooks. Think a punky Bloc Party, but then think something completely different, and then imagine it even better. This is very strong MTV2 music indeed.
Micky P Kerr's been about for ages, both on his own and part of Micky P Kerr and the Dudes. Tonight he's on his own with a microphone and an acoustic guitar, and this means, of course, that we're treated to a few minutes of poetry before the main set. I think it was pretty funny, though I couldn't hear most of it thanks to a crowd who believed it absolutely fine to just shout even louder when the acts started so they could be heard above the noise. Kerr's strong point, though, has always been his talent at writing absolutely brilliant pop songs, and standout tune Dreamers Club, featured on a recent Jet2 advert, should be one of the biggest songs in the world.
And so we finish the night with International Trust. Oi, and all that. They're exactly as you'd expect them to be. They're unbelievably stupid and corny, but totally engaging and all the better for the ridiculousness. And shining through the silliness is a band who can actually kick out some cracking pop tunes: new single Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the absolutely beautiful ballad I Can't Believe You Fell In Love (With A Bastard Like Me) are painfully infectious, with Leeds music busybody Neil Hanson's scratchy, nasty vocals singing some surprisingly gorgeous vocal hooks. Towards the end it all gets a bit silly, Rob Galloway takes all his clothes off and jumps around a bit while people look for the nearest fire exit, and then everyone goes home or out into town to get even drunker. I'd imagine they all stumbled out of Trash at dawn wondering just what happened the night before. Frankly, the streaking bit would be better left forgotten.
Rather marvellous Skiffle-Prog-Pop merchants.