This was the second time that I had seen the headliners in just over twenty-four hours after their sneaky set at the Fulford Arms the previous day (click here for my review of that show). In fact this is probably the first time that I have seen any band or singer twice in two days in more than 46 years of going to gigs! This was a showcase gig for Skylights who are powering along the path of success and greatness, it’s a long road but they have the means and the fuel to finish the journey. But enough of Skylights for a moment, they were supported by a couple of excellent bands. Taking to the stage in the Brudenell Main Room first were Pool Sharks from Leeds. They were having a great week after being featured on BBC 6 Music and now on stage at the iconic Brudenell in only their second gig! They had clearly rehearsed incredibly well and played like veterans of shows like this. At times I was reminded of early Franz Ferdinand and maybe to a lesser degree Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins. Their songs have depth, clever lyrics and great pop hooks. “Thank You, Have a Nice Day” has the makings of a big hit.
Second on stage and second on the bill were the Sheratons, all the way from……. Leeds! This lot are well aware of what great rock music is and inject their sound with a full on punky attitude. The live performance of their new single “These Kids” was a sharp and jagged riff fest and even better than the rather spiffing recorded version. “Hacienda” their song about the famous, or maybe infamous, Manchester venue was a particular highlight. But their choice of a cover version medley to close their set was awe-inspiring and a challenge that many bands would not have been able to meet, but the Sheratons totally owned their take on two classic tunes. Firstly it was the Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus” (often used as an encore closer by Oasis) which they segued into a perfect run through the instrumental part of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”. I bought the CD single of “These Kids” and I hope there is an album on the horizon soon!
Now for the nights main attraction, one of York’s best bands, Skylights. This showcase gig was a big deal for them and they were magnificent. Following a raucous crowd sing along to one of the few football songs that is quite good, “Leeds Leeds Leeds” (just in case you didn’t know, these boys are Leeds United supporters) they lit the fuse on an incendiary set with the opening bars of “Life Line”. The power, passion and pace did not let up once. Their biggest influences for me are some of the best bands from the Brit Pop era; Blur, Oasis and Primal Scream. Lead vocalist Rob had the audience eating out of his hands, even if by his own admission he is not a storyteller. Whilst Rob is a superb frontman and vocalist this is a great band because they are so much bigger than the sum of their parts. Turnbull’s guitar skills have future axe legend written over them, he makes smart use of his array of effects pedals to enhance his signature sound. Then in the engine room you have Jonny on bass with a sound that would have given John Entwistle of the Who a run for his money. Myles bashes those drums like the fate of the planet depends on it. “Britannia” is definitely becoming one of my favourite Skylights songs, but it still has a little way to go to usurp “What You Are” and the stone cold classic that is “YRA”. Skylights owned the Brudenell and if they are not taking this excellent sound to festivals before very long then I shall be forced to eat a Skylights T-Shirt. If you haven’t checked out Skylights yet then what in the damned world is holding you back? Trust me you really need some of these songs in your life. Get into them now before they start playing arenas!
Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the gig poster) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.
Also very proud to see a quote from this blog on the poster!