As the new issue is nearly ready to go, here is 'Wall of Text' Live Review from Issue 1.2.
We came across Lucas Renney twice in recent months, first at Henry Boons in Wakefield where he performed tracks from his ‘9 out of 10 in the NME’ album, Strange Glory (he cheekily repeated that fact at least twice). Tonight he plays his sad but dryly whimsical songs alone, his Mackem charm holding the audience throughout. He was supported by St Gregory Orange, possibly their last show for a long time. Despite this, new tracks like ‘The Party’ benefit from some fairly post rock noise terrorism in the closing minute and are impressive. Apparently they will return, albeit in a completely different form. Lucas popped up again supporting Field Music at Brudenell Social Club, who were promoting recent album (Measure). They played an initially bewildering set, first coming across like The Phantom Band’s elongated ‘jam structures‘, the second was an update of Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, with full on McCartney wandering bass. Then it went all 70’s prog, with an (intentionally?) bad funk breakdown section. And the fourth was some ‘Boston’ / Elton John twinkly ballad mash up, that sojourned into a ’Low’ era Bowie style stomper. Bizarre. But eventually the cleverness of what they were doing came through. Excellent song craft, but maybe too much ‘head’ and not enough heart. The Passing Fancy, expert at making you feel good about those bad, boozy times returned at Bodega Bar with a reworked set. He was joined by Jamie Roberts, recently finalist at the BBC 2 folk awards on Fiddle and Mandolin. Good to see folk music with a sense of fun, the spritely tunes benefited greatly from the additional staff. Piskie Sits held their launch night at Escobar, for new single ‘Churp Churp’ (praised last issue). It seemed every band in Wakefield came out to wish them well. For the first time, in terms of decibels, they sound like a six piece. Its thunderous. Whilst it feels like I’ll have to wait for the a new record to hear the nuances behind it all, it makes for a thrilling evening. The ever entertaining Imp popped up too, joined by Runaround Kids guitarist/singer George. Again, a much noisier raucous sound than usual, but still one of the best live bands around at the moment. Sam Barratt of Nine Black Alps offered a delicate acoustic set too that was surprisingly engaging. New Chemikal Underground signings Zoey Van Goey played a free gig at Oporto in Leeds . Based in Glasgow, it was a hugely entertaining evening, with genuinely warm banter and big smiles. Zoey Van Goey completely surpass my expectations and pull out a storming set, of intelligent, feel good unashamed pop. Its hard to pin down their sound exactly, there’s a certain folk element, but its about a million times more than that. They remind me of The Delgados in a way, not musically, but in their ability to craft marvellous pure pop moments from deceptively simple ideas expressed without sounding cheesy, contrived or insincere. Best new band we’ve heard, without a doubt. Finally, reliably wonderful ‘On the Ride’ promotions put on another stormer at Wakefields Red Shed, with a pleasingly crunching performance from Mi Mye, a sweaty, jolly, brand of joyous fiddle-y folk noise, along with The Tailors, adoptive Wakefield legends (they like to record up here) impressing with beautiful renditions from their recent album ‘Come Dig Me Up’. And then Tiny Planets, who simply improve every single time we see them, which is scary coz they are already astounding. Treecreeper rounded things off. Admittedly RB was pretty drunk by this point, but the album sounds amazing, well worth a look. RB