Set List Included: Paul, Umbongo, De Bom Bom, In Plastic, The Last Riddler, Fucking Butter, Pears For Lunch, Lawman, Peelers, Shoulder Pads, The Cha Cha Cha and Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage
Approaching Leeds Brudenell Club, the car park was full and the smoking and seating area outside, almost empty. This was a positive sign, as obviously the noise emanating from the building had everyone transfixed inside.
The venue was rammed, although not completely sold out. Leeds Brudenell was taking part in the Independent Venue Week #IVN17 and this gig also included 2 artists signed to the independent label, Rough Trade Records. Support bands were Mush, an extremely promising four-piece from Leeds, reminiscent of early Pixies and Breeders. Goat Girl, a London, female four-piece, gutsy guitar band with attitude. I loved the song “Country Sleaze” and especially the intro to “Scum”.
When main act, Girl Band took to the stage they instantly set the tone for the evening with their latest single, “Paul”. The Dublin four-piece, started with an exceptionally heavy bass-line and the opening lyrics “Better not ask, a bleached moustache has given us a rash…”. Singer, Dara Kiely , a charismatic front-man, who captured the crowd’s attention immediately and managed to hold it all the way through the gig. In-between songs he added his own anecdotes and at one point shouted “Yorrrrkkshire!” to which the crowd gladly chanted back in unison “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire!”
Instantaneously hit by a wall of sound that was so intensely loud, every solid object vibrated along to the bass, including the walls and floor. An unmanageable combination of angst, chaos and calm. In-between songs, hecklers in the crowd shouted “Louder, louder!” One of the crowd-pleasing tracks of the evening was “Pears for Lunch”. With Dara’s vocal style it’s only possible to catch fragments of lyrics; but when you do it immediately puts a smile on your face. “I look crap with my top off” and “like corn on the gob” are just some of the words that I singled out. I regretted not getting closer to the stage as the amount of pedal work , distortion and reverb used by the bass player, Daniel Fox and guitarist, Alan Duggan, would have been fascinating to watch. But I was more than happy to appreciate it from the steps near the back where I still had a good view of the band. As the gig continued the strobe-lighting increased, along with the volume. The packed crowd looked like a swarm of insects flailing around at the foot of the stage. The band finished with the epic “Why Do They Hide Their Bodies In My Garage”.
All in all, an absolutely amazing gig and a very happy audience. I’d go and see any of these three guitar bands again in the blink of an eye.
My favourite tracks of the evening: “Lawman” and “Pears for Lunch”.
Girl Band’s album “Holding Hands With Jamie” is available now on Rough Trade Records.
Until the next adventure…