This show was a promotion by Bands F.C., in fact, I believe it is their first promotion. In a nutshell, their core operation and unique selling point is “Bands as Football Teams, Football Teams as Bands”. I presume to tap into the tribalism that exists in music and football. Personally, I have always tended to separate the two, but I definitely understand the appeal. If you are a football fan there will be more footie comments and analogies later in this piece! First of the two bands to occupy the Brudenell stage was one of Yorkshire’s finest, the Skylights. This is definitely a band that is ready for the big time. In fact, I believe that Skylights will hit it way before their beloved Leeds United return to the Premier League or maybe a safer bet might be before Leeds return to European competition. The boys had their own Spinal Tap moment with bass player Jonny not managing to find his way to the stage at the same time as the rest of the band. Was he lost, was it nerves? I have no idea! This Skylights performance was incredibly tight with Rob’s vocals finding a level somewhere between the punk sneer of Johnny Rotten and the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” whine of Liam Gallagher from back in the days when Oasis mattered. Turnbull is a certified guitar virtuoso who could hold his own with the likes of Bernard Butler, John Squire, and the Edge to name just a few. Meanwhile the rhythm section of the aforementioned Jonny on uber bass and Myles smashing his kit into oblivion. I met someone in the crowd who said that Myles played like he was Animal from the Muppets and I find it hard to disagree. This albeit short set was another classic one from this excellent band. Highlights for me were “Nothing Left To Say” and “YRA”.
The second and final band of the evening was raucous and refined indie yobs (and I mean all that in a good way) Dirty Laces from Manchester. Their Manchester DNA is obviously well displayed but their sound is also descended from original rock yobs, the Small Faces. Singer Charlie has the confidence, the swagger and just a hint of arrogance that all the best frontmen possess. He also has a great voice. Dirty Laces come across as an incredibly well-rehearsed bunch of very talented musicians. Plus they really seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage, which for me is always a good sign of a great band. For me, the real powerhouse of the band was bass player Tom, although in some ways singling any one of the five out seems a little unfair, I did it anyway. If I was in a band I would not have relished following such a blistering set from Skylights who played like headliners, but Dirty Laces were undaunted and played like champions. They know their classic tunes too; they took to the stage after the Beatles “Because” was played over the venue PA. Then their penultimate song was a cover, not just any cover, but one of Dame David’s greatest songs, “Heroes”. I have seen so many acts screw up cover versions of classic songs, but Dirty Laces took “Heroes” and put their own indelible stamp on it. Never as good as Bowie’s original, how could it be, but an exemplary live performance of a great tune. That was one of my highlights of the night along with set closer “Set In Stone” which may be the harbinger of a new genre mashup; Indie Prog!
A big shout out to Premier League referee Jon Moss (not the one from Culture Club) for a great DJ set. Sticking with football, this gig would have been a hard-fought FA cup match ending in a 4 – 4 draw (that’s a tie to US readers) with both bands sharing the spoils. When will the replay be?
All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by Trust A Fox Photography, please do not share or use without permission. You can find Trust A Fox here and also on Facebook and Twitter (@TrustFox). The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know.
If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;
Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.