Jorvik Radio, probably the best community radio station in the UK, turned one year old this month and to celebrate they put together an online streamed mini festival on Saturday 7th November. It featured seven very different and very talented acts. Kicking off with the Serotones, a fantastic young band from York. This lot are the bastard children of the Stone Roses and possibly J. Mascis (off of Dinosaur Jr.) too. Yes I know the Shed Seven connection, but I am talking about how they sound. The guitarist has the talent to match John Squire and the vocals are definitely a tad better than Ian Brown’s. Was there a better choice to kick off Jorvik Radio’s first birthday bash? I don’t think so.
Next up were Scarborough’s rather excellent, the Feens, to describe them simply as an indie band would be doing the Feens a great disservice, they are so much more than that with wide ranging influences including Arcade Fire and maybe even Blur. The vocals are incredibly soulful and spot on. What should a band do when they have two stunning singers in their ranks? Use them both to great effect of course. A great performance on vocals from Freddie and Adam.
Bonnie and the Bailers ( although a bit short on Bailers for this gig) are new to me, but I have a hunch they will appear on this site a lot more. Bonnie’s vocals have a tremendous depth of emotion and passion. Without a full band and just guitars she proves just how powerful her voice is. Ably supported by Bull’s guitarist, more of them later, Bonnie powers through an excellent set. “Gravy” is simply weird, wonderful and frankly beautiful. In my opinion Bonnie has the potential to become a Janis Joplin for the 21st Century.
Everyone loves Tony Wright, right? well if you’re a fan of Terrorvision you definitely do. This was a brilliant acoustic set from Tony with support from another guitarist. Wright is now very much a Yorkshire music legend and he plays that role in a very unassuming fashion. The songs are very autobiographical and in the main full-on story songs. It is often said that the mark of a great song is how it sounds in a simple acoustic setting, if that is true then Tony Wright’s set was full of absolute classics. “Do You Love Me” is perhaps one of the finest love songs that I have heard in a long while. In contrast “Janine/ Jeanette” was a bloody hilarious singalong.
Hip Hop from York? Who knew? Keon, playing his first solo non-DJ show for quite a while absolutely smashed it. This bloke knows his stuff and has the great knack and immense talent for spitting perfect ciphers. Flying the flag high for British Hip Hop. Keon also had a wonderful choice of beats to back his linguistic eloquence, particularly Souls Of Mischief. I am most definitely a Keon fan now!
The penultimate act was Hello Operator a band that I have had the pleasure of seeing live quite a few times and they just get better and better every time. They are now a well established full-on rock band drawing their influences from across the whole lineage of British Rock; the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Blur and many more. They have that classic rock sound that Oasis always threatened to achieve but never did. Their eponymous debut album is out now, check it out, you will not be disappointed.
Bull are another great York band that just get better and better each time I see them. There are not many bands like Bull, they are close to genre defying. An incredibly tight band, original, talented and purveyors of great vocals, heavenly harmonies and stupendous songs. If I had to describe them I would say maybe jangly 90s indie spliced with Velvet Underground, Teenage Fanclub, Blur, the Beach Boys and the Clash. They recently signed a record deal so we will have so much more to look forward to from them. OK until real gigs return this rather splendid online show was a strong substitute. A massive happy birthday to Jorvik Radio and may you have many more!
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