A gig on a Tuesday is never a super appealing night, is it? I always prefer Thursdays and the weekend. But sometimes something draws you in and here it was Percy and Soma Crew, two bands that I have seen before; frankly, neither of them has ever been anything but sensational. So a Tuesday gig it was! First up, for their first-ever gig, was the New Solar Drones. Their first couple of songs reminded me musically of early R.E.M and perhaps lyrically some tones of early Eels. I love that the band has a percussionist, there are not enough of them in music any more. This dude looked a little like Elton John’s long-time percussionist, Ray Cooper. The bass player stood out with his 5-string bass guitar, it’s not often that you see anything but a 4-string bass. But ignoring the number of strings, he played a magnificent bass rumble throughout the set. Their last track was truly epic, very proggy with shades of Genesis, Focus, and Jethro Tull, but still definitely very original. This is definitely a band to keep an eye (and your ears) on!
Next on the floor, yes this was a floor show just in front of the stage, was Percy a.k.a. west Yorkshire Superheroes. They have a new album coming out next month and it is bloody ace. The obvious comparison people make when they hear Percy for the first time is the Fall. But this bunch goes so much deeper than that. I hear punk, C86, and thanks to Andy’s towering bass lines a little of Flea’s finest bass licks. Meanwhile, Paula’s keys add a Doorsian weirdness to the whole thing. The older songs are fast becoming live classics, particularly “Will Of The People” which seems likely to remain topical forever! New tunes “What Lez Said” and “ICU” are very classy indeed. But the high point for me was probably the warped magnificence of “Chunks” which confirms that all is well on Planet Percy!
Headliners Soma Crew is a deeply talented band laid-back, psyched-out and grungy sometimes at the same time! They use that drone sound really well but these magnificent noiseniks are so much more than a drone-driven shoegaze kind of band. Their influences run very deep, even drawing on the blues at times. The use of subtle looping works really well and while there are definitely some 60s influences underlying the songs Soma Crew are undoubtedly a band planted very firmly in the 21st Century. Si Micklethwaite, singer, songwriter, and guitarist was absolutely on fire in this set a truly mountainous performance. I hear so many influences in the Soma Crew sound; Jonathan Richman, Beatles (in their most experimental moments, Pink Floyd (circa 1970/71), Spiritualized, and even 60s West Coast light rock. But none of that detracts at all from the fact that they are a great band and there is not another band quite like Soma Crew.
All pictures, except the gig poster, were taken by me using my very cheap Chinese Android phone. The videos were found on YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be removed 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.