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Live Review

Live Review Arthur Rigby and the Baskervylles + Hunting Bears

Kamelia Kountcheva reviews two rising stars in the Leeds music scene.

On the cold Wednesday evening of February 8th, in the heart of Leeds, a little epicentre of excited heat radiated from the Nation of Shopkeepers bar. Fans gathered, eagerly waiting to see two of their rising local bands perform.

Hunting Bears, a five-piece folk band from Leeds, took to the stage first, warming up a steadily thickening crowd of edgy fringes, floral dresses and schoolboy jumpers. The folk feel was imminent with this band, as the violin rang and the ukulele jangled the first chords of ‘Heavy Tree’. Their beautiful harmonies were only enhanced by the infectious chemistry between the…

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Live Review Reel Big Fish

Cat Marr reviews the veteran pop-punkers who bring their party vibes back to Leeds one more time.

The ska pop-punk band Reel Big Fish once wrote a song called, "Don’t Start A Band" and after a sixteen plus year career, this isn’t their mantra.

If you haven’t heard or seen Reel Big Fish, imagine an American Madness, with a lead singer sporting a 50s style. Their music is ska-influenced and live they are extremely entertaining and the one simple word to sum them up is fun!

Without a song appearing in the charts recently, it was difficult to imagine how good they were going to be, they jumped on to stage and the first noticeable thing was…

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Live Review Still Corners

Neil Chapman checks out the English Sub Pop signings whose recent album has received a good deal of praise.

Still Corners arrive at the Brudenell Social Club with some strong recommendations. The debut album Creatures of an Hour received universally strong reviews. It made a prominent appearance in the Leeds Guide album of the year list and was named Album of the Year by Jumbo Records. So it was with great expectations that a hardy few souls braved the bitter cold and snow on a Monday night to see what all the fuss was about.

Support for the night came from Just Handshakes (We’re British) and My Sad Captains. Both come and go having received a warm reception from…

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Live Review Big Country

Scottish anthem-merchants take their new line-up out on the road.

The Scottish mountains backdrop that illuminates the O2 Academy stage leaves you in no doubt as to who is playing tonight. Big Country consists of the original members Bruce Watson (guitars), Tony Butler (bass) and Mark Brzezicki (drums). Since 2010 they have been joined by Watson’s son Jamie (guitar) and Mike Peters of The Alarm (vocals), who has taken over the vocal duties once filled by the much missed Stuart Adamson.

Big Country never quite reached the pinnacle of success other stadium rockers of the same era, such as U2 or The Waterboys, did. They still share many of the…

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Live Review Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

American alt-rock band that now appear to have weathered the early barrage of hype and return to Leeds with a knockout performance.

At first glance, CYHSY looks like a complicated set of letters thrust together chaotically and haphazardly. However, in reality, this American indie rock band is refreshingly simple: good tunes played to an audience of fans who can’t wait to listen to them.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah formed in 2004 and gained international success through a flurry of online exposure that was sealed with their self-released, self-titled debut album in 2005. A second album, Some Loud Thunder, followed in 2007 and then the rumour every devotee fears. The band was “taking a break” and the thousands of international followers that…

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Live Review Wild Flag

Four-piece who include two ex-members of Sleater-Kinney play a storming set at The Cockpit

Wild Flag delivered a master class in US alt rock full of passion and great tunes. That’s hardly surprising as this indie supergroup bring together former Sleater-Kinneys Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein, plus Helium guitarist Mary Timony and Rebecca Cole from The Minders.

From the off this band of 40-something riot grrrls were taking no prisoners, ripping into a no-nonsense ‘Electric Band’ from their critically acclaimed debut album. The centrepiece of their sound is the wild drumming of former Elliott Smith and Steve Malkmus & The Jicks band member Jane Weiss, who launches assault after assault on her kit.

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Live Review M83 Stylus, Leeds University Union

Shoegazing electro-types keep the Stylus audience in raptures

The bar area was deserted. The dance floor was full. Those who couldn’t fit on the dance floor stood around the edges and on the upper level, every head turned towards the stage.

There were a few mumbles but no one looked like they were attempting conversation. The air was filled with anticipation.

As a detached observer, it was a powerful scene. There was an acute sense that something really special was about to happen. And to all of those M83 fans on Friday 20th January standing jam-packed in Leeds University Union, pushed against one another to make sure…

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Live Review Alabama 3, O2 Academy Leeds

A politicised set from a very eclectic band before the release of their new album Shoplifting for Jesus

When asked what The Sopranos, The Simpsons and Eastenders all have in common, a pop, punk, rock, blues and “country techno Situationist crypto-Marxist-Leninist electro band” from Brixton, may not be the first thing that springs to mind. Yet, the music of Alabama 3 has featured in each programme, and last week the motley crew appeared in the flesh, in Leeds, before the release of their album, Shoplifting for Jesus.

Such an eclectic band will never make it simple to find a suitable support act, but at least The Jar Family had numbers on their side. Comprised of seven men, four…

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Live Review Brew Records Christmas Party

Local noisenik record label assemble an excellent line-up to celebrate the upcoming holiday.

This year’s Brew Records Christmas party was held at the Brudenell Social Club and apart from the message of ‘Merry Christmas’, one message may be appropriate for all artists, but was a little more obvious tonight. No matter how strained or in pain you look, as long as you have an instrument in your hand, it is acceptable.

The room was full of fans who looked anything but Christmassy and the bands played on the floor rather than the stage, which Tom from the record label calls "punk rock".

Kicking off the festive celebrations were Double Muscle - one of…

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Live Review The Ting Tings, The Cockpit

The Manchester duo return after two years out, and it's like they've never been away

The return of The Ting Tings could hardly have been more low-key. A short tour of small UK venues after being away for two years may seem strange for a band who received so much critical acclaim. However, Katie White (vocals, guitar, bass and gong) and Juan de Martino (drums, lead, piano) seem perfectly happy in this compact and bijou setting.

The set tonight is split evenly between tracks from the debut album We Started Nothing and material from their forthcoming album Sounds from Nowheresville. They kick-off with new songs ‘Give It Back’ and ‘Hang It Up’. Both songs are…

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