It was Cowtown’s new album launch night – coinciding with record shop day – they brought four other Leeds bands [just found out one is from Sheffield] with them for a free gig. All new (to me), all great (to me and Steve) and I went away with a smile and my first new vinyl in maybe 15, maybe 20 years. A great night.
It wasn’t looking like it was going to be an exciting night – 7.30 am I got a call to go an d fix my mum’s plumbing in Stockport. While under the sink Steve texts: “fancy coming to the Brudenell to see Drench – the guardian says they’re worth it. … and its free”. “Ok if I get back in time I might” was my less than enthusiastic response. Any way – I did get back and I did go – and it was the best gigging night for a very long time – FIVE Leeds bands, all First up was different, all with something special.
First up was Etai Keshiki (apparently pronounced: eh tie keh shee kee). Their singer (Kayleigh) screeches and their guitarist (Daria) rocks … and really does keep the tunes pumping out. She also sings into an old telephone handset which was pretty cool. You know the band’s good when you and you mate are grinning after the first song. They were great – I might not listen in the kitchen at home – but I’d certainly go to the next gig. If you like a bit of noise with a great guitar tune go too.
Next was Menace Beach. Three guitars, base and drums and may be some keyboards. Some good tunes, nice sound. I could listen to a few more … but the set was short! I forgot to take a photo, sorry. It looks like they have a few gigs coming up – one in May at the Brudenell.
Next up was Drenge. Not sure about the name, Steve, who I had to thanks for this great night was enjoying it as much as me, but seemed a bit apprehensive of the guardian’s review as they’d got everything else wrong… however before the band I popped to the bar and another smile came to my face when I saw the “Sid&Nancy: Record shop day ale”. The only downer of the night … I was driving and a 6.9% ale is several percent too much for a gig goer. Let’s hope its still on next time I’m down the Brudenell.
Back to the gig: Drenge. A TWO piece it turn out. You wouldn’t know it if you heard them. I certainly didn’t until I looked a bit harder after their first song. One guitarists and One drummer. They sounded like the six-piece that had gone before them. Great tunes great effect and original sound.
Just read what the guardian said: “A punky blues-rock duo from the Peak District obsessed with Danish avant-garde cinema.” … may be. Go and see them for the tunes, and wow at the sound a two piece can produce.
At this point we bumped into Jonny, an old gigging/football going mate of Steve’s whose joie de vivre is beer, Newcastle united and gigging (esp. at the brudenell) and a big fan of No-Means-No and Fugazi. We had a good chat about these bands as they were both in my favourites from the days down at the Duchess. He was well up on the next two bands … apparently Cowtown were “a bit of of Gang of four and a bit of Wire” … ‘should be good’ we though. However the next band was Beards.
Beards are a guitarist (Dicko in the vest), a basist (a left-handed-lady) and a drummer (another lady who is also the lead singer). These three produced some interesting funky type (i.e. not funky) sounds with really prominent base and high pitched chanting and screaming from behind the drum kit. Great stuff. Lots of nice rhythms chopping and changing and they are really tight.
Next the headliners: Cowtown. Jonny knew the Korg player Hilary .. (I think they both work at the art gallery). He told us they have been around for years (8?). This is their 3rd album … how have we missed them? The place was packed by now – it had been all night – but all the Cowtowners were down at the front by now. They are a three piece, the Korg player, a guitarist/singer and a drummer.
They have a load of great tunes – and a great sound … just how do they do it without a bass player (come to think of it, this is the second band tonight with no bass.) Were … they like Gang of four/Wire I’m not sure, but they were pretty good. Pretty poppy … but not poppy… The crowd was dancing away everyone seemed to be enjoying the night as much as me and Steve. Last song and of course an encore. Jon the singer said something about people think they sound like Devo – may be – then they played some Devo.
I was impressed and smiling and still having my beer money and entrance fee in my pocket I couldn’t resist buying the album: Dudes vs Bad Dudes. My first vinyl for donkey’s years (I’ve got to set up my turntable, so yet to play it – but it came with a free download – so it sin itunes.) It great to study that cover on t he way home (as Steve did – I was driving!) .. just like the good old days.
It looks like Cowtown have a few dates coming up… and are back at the Brudenell on 2nd Aug at the Out of Spite Festival. Catch em there.