Another night of Northern Radar fun was upon us. some bands I have seen before and some that are new to me. This is often the case when the talented Mr Pattinson puts a show together. I have been to many, many Northern Radar shows and Simon has not let me down so far. Will this gig at the Fulford Arms be the exception to that rule? Read on to find out dear reader. I should mention that this was a very important night in many ways, we were celebrating Independent Venue Week and the Fulford Arms would be visited by real radio royalty, Steve Lamacq! A bit more about him later, let’s get to the bands first. Taking the stage first in an already rammed venue were the delightful Neon Salmon, a great band that I saw quite recently. This is the bunch that wear Kimonos and fairy lights and they do that with style. I get a sense of the fun side of Edwyn Collins with Neon Salmon and also the quintessentially eccentric British sound of Stackridge. The latter struck me early on and was perhaps quite pertinent given that the Salmon boys bravely, skilfully and very successfully covered “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes”, a 1979 hit by the Korgis. Where is the pertinence in that? Well Any Davis and James warren were former members of Stackridge when they formed the Korgis. Neon salmon showed their skill at putting together jazz fused funky sounds with some supreme Flugelhorn overlay. On top of that you cannot deny that “Smoked Mackerel Cat” comes close to drowning in its awesomeness. They even had the audience moshing and crowd surfing, which is no mean feat in a small venue like the Fulford Arms. Get your arse of your sofa and take yourself along to see Neon Salmon, you will be properly entertained.
Cowgirl took to the stage next, they are hard bluesy with a whiff of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club about them. They have a perfect blend of garage punk and 60s slacker surf rock sounds. Vocally you can imagine this might be what Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground might sound like if they were much younger and were formed now. Since the show I have checked them out on-line “You’re Not There” and “She Picks Me Up” are great songs. I would pay to see Cowgirl again they have the perfect sound for a small, packed, sweaty venue like the Fulford Arms. Cowgirl are what the Kings Of Leon might have become if they still gave a shit!
There were four bands on tonight and the third of those was Flooded, now that is a somewhat risky name for a York band, but who cares they are a tight band that could use music to roll back a deluge. I believe that this former three-piece have added a new front man to their ranks and it was a great move as this dude has a fabulous voice. “Butterflies” is a stupendous and classy song, the crowd loved it. Flooded are a band that is abundant with wonderful contradictions; hard punky garage, jangly indie and some deceptively heavy riffage. Is it me getting older or are bands just getting younger? This lot is like a bunch of baby-faced Rock Assassins. You need some Flooded in your life.
Tonights headliners were Wild Front all the way from Southampton and Andy, Josh, Jack and Mike smashed it. Their songs are emotionally driven anthems which stick with you long after the gig high starts to fade. “Make You Feel” is like a Beach Boys Stone Roses coupling but with much better vocals. This is a band that knows their stuff the musicianship is 100% spot on and the soaring vocals and harmonies take you to wonderful places. Wild Front are destined for much greater things I am sure. This is truly beautiful music from an absolutely stunning band. All the bands tonight were very, very good but Wild Front were simply the classiest band on a very classy night.
So what about Steve Lamacq? Well I had a chance to chat with him briefly while he talked Mr Pattinson and me through his journey into music. He is a proper top bloke as, of course, is Simon Pattinson who put this show together. So yes it was another great show from Northern Radar at one of York’s best gig venues. Support your Independent Venues people, they are the real lifeblood of the music scene!
Public Service Announcement – All the photographs, apart from the gig poster, were taken by me on my rather snazzy new Canon camera. All the videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for me to take it down please give me a shout.