May gig previews

Posted by vibrations on 01-05-16

May gig previews

LIME presents ‘Barricades and Partitions’ @ Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Sun 1

LIME is, of course, the Leeds Improvised Music and Experimentation collective and this new project will be based on ideas submitted by musicians, composers or anyone on the theme of ‘time, as an artificial construct’, which could be of a visual as well as musical nature. The performers will be drawn from the ranks of new music specialists from The University of Leeds. The deadline for submissions is passed, but this should at least be interesting, possibly inspirational. It will certainly be different. Come on, be adventurous for once in your life..

Magnapinna/Abrakadabra/Clenstch/Virgin Dad @ Chunk, Leeds – Thur 4

Cue backstory: a couple of years ago Leeds math groove trio Magnapinna linked up with Berlin fierce math trio Abrakadabra to record a split 12” and the pair did a short mainland Euro tour on the back of it. Sadly, last year Magnapinna decided to split up but have heroically reformed for a short UK tour to reciprocate the tour. Both bands are/were great, the EP itself is great, and for this gig you get Chunk babies Clenstch and Virgin Dad into the bargain too. Goes without saying this will be your last ever chance to see Magnapinna, who are/were (grrr..) quietly brilliant.

Greg Osby & Vein/Eliot Richards Barrelhouse Trio @ Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds – Thur 4

St Louis born saxophonist Greg Osby was a key member of Steve Coleman’s massively influential M-Base Collective in the 1980’s, which sought to blend improvisation, jazz and emerging techniques of computer derived music. Osby has subsequently recorded and toured extensively in a variety of stylistic settings, this collaboration is with the Swiss trio Vein (Michael Abenz on piano, Thomas Lähns on bass and Florian Arbenz [the pianists brother] on drums) and is described by Osby as 'jazzical', a meeting of Vein's background in European classical music with American jazz roots and energetic groove workouts.

Sloth Racket/Hot Beef 3 @ Fuse Art Space, Bradford – Fri 6

Top quality jazz and improv from two bands featuring future names of the UK scene. Sloth Racket play baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts’ compositions, which combine improvisation, composed fragments and graphic scores in pieces that encompass different musical idioms (free jazz, minimalism and plain old grooves). Sam Andreae (tenor saxophone), Anton Hunter (guitar), Seth Bennett (bass) and Johnny Hunter (drums) complete the band and their debut album, Triptych is out 2 May. The Hot Beef 3 are Leeds jazz and improv stalwarts Oliver Dover (saxophones), Craig Scott (guitar) and Andrew Lisle (drums) who, individually and collectively, are never less than brilliant.

Daniel Bachman/Dean McPhee/Sophie Cooper @ Golden Lion, Todmorden – Sat 7

Three solo guitarists who present radically different takes on the approach to the venerable instrument. Impossibly young Virginian Daniel Bachman plays in the rootsy, finger picking style pioneered by the likes of John Fahey and Robbie Basho, and is highly accomplished despite his youth. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll already be familiar with Dean McPhee’s superbly lyrical and exploratory electric guitar tunes. And while Sophie Cooper has a range of approaches she can bring to her music, her song based folk originals expertly combine tradition and experimentation. NOTE: the finish time will be last train to Leeds and Manchester friendly.

Bismuth/Fuckjar/Prisa Mata/Lugubrious Children @ Chunk, Leeds – Sat 7

A night of ultra-low end and mostly slow guitar riffage. Certainly Bismuth revel in the murky depths of treacly, funereal doom, while sludgey doomers Fuckjar and Prisa Mata mix the tempos up a bit and are so well matched they’re touring a split release just now. The jokers in the pack are mad, fast grinders Lugubrious Children who may well spontaneously combust at this gig….

Three Trapped Tigers @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Mon 9

This dual keys and drums trio do instrumental proggy electronica that mixes up sweet melodies, punishing grooves and wild abrasive noise in one joyful howl of music that’s aimed squarely at the stars. The bands tremendous second album Silent Earthling is just out.

Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex @ Headrow House, Leeds – Wed 11

Neil Hagerty was, of course, one half of Royal Trux, the confrontational noise rock outfit he fronted with Jennifer Herrema in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s. Since that bands demise, Hagerty has released a steady series of albums under the Howling Hex banner that have developed a style somewhere between Captain Beefheart and a kind of wired psyche rock. One thing is for sure, he’s still ploughing his own playfully irascible furrow.

The Fall @ Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds – Fri 13

The Fall. That is all.

Fairport Convention @ Unity Works, Wakefield – Fri 13

Few bands can claim to have changed the face of popular music, but Fairport Convention certainly can and did. In the late 60’s, the band took the sound and style (and some the songs too) of ultra-traditional British folk music and injected both electricity and a healthy dollop of psychedelia into it to bring it howling into the 20th century. It was rather like a bunch of snotty, scruffy ruffians trashing a terribly English afternoon tea dance. Their influence is still felt today at the more experimental strands of folk music and albums like Unhalfbricking and Liege & Leaf remain vibrant and vital today. Rather incredibly, singer and guitarist Simon Nicol has been there from the very beginning, with bassist Dave Pegg only two years his junior in terms of band membership. The rest of the current line-up are mere whippersnappers….

The Seven Inches/Nixon/The Pop-up People @ Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Fri 13

One of Leeds best and least celebrated indie bands The Seven Inches launch the release of their second album, The Seven Inches Test Their Mettle, a mere three years after their debut, The Seven Inches Get Disorientated, which will no doubt again be chock full of cheeky, impish, self-deprecating, amusingly clever and cleverly amusing songs. Its bloody free entry too!

Eagulls @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Fri 13

Another album launch gig, this time for Eagulls second Ullages, released on the very day of this gig and no doubt available to buy directly from the sweaty post gig hands of the band! Yay! It’s already sold out though. Boo!

Hearth Life I @ Chunk, Leeds – Sat 14

Leeds design and art collective Pyre Climber is celebrating its first birthday with this all dayer of top class doom, death, grind and sludge bands from around the UK, so expect to come away with at least a couple of tees to go with the ringing ears. Leeds grind legends The Afternoon Gentlemen headline, with the similarly inclined (and only marginally less good) Lugubrious Children, Famine and Ona Snop helping to keep things fast and frantic. Meanwhile the always astonishing Palehorse provide enough doomy low end weight to launch an earthquake, with Moloch and Ghold helping to keep it low and slow. False Flags, Corinth, Horsebastard and Groak mix things up nicely. More info and full line up at and check out Prye Climber here


Nuit Debout Leeds @ Millennium Square, Leeds – Sun 15

‘Nuit debout’ roughly translates as “night on our feet” or “rise up at night”, its first appearance being in France earlier this year, with the original event in Paris rapidly being duplicated in cities throughout the country in the following days. There are now Nuit Debout taking place across Europe, with events being held in London, Liverpool and Manchester. This will be the first held in Leeds. A Nuit Debout is held in a public space at night, where people come together to discuss ideas and possibilities with a view to creating or seeding alternatives to the current system we live under, essentially a protest against austerity, corporate greed, inequality, racism and oppression and for real democracy. What has this got to do with music? Well, like it or not the way we organise and consume our culture has massive political, economic and social implications and Leeds just happens to be at the forefront of a DIY music network that may just offer the seeds of a viable alternative to the way human beings can live together outside the bankrupt confines of capitalism. Or you may think everything’s just fine. The conversation begins at 7:00pm. More details here, with info on the original Nuit Debout here

Kronos Quartet @ Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds – Tue 17

Quite how the celebrated San Franciscan Kronos Quartet have managed to not play in Leeds once in their 40 year history is an oversight suitably rectified by this concert. For over 200 years, composers of every stripe have found the string quartet to be a format endlessly suitable to inspire inspiration and innovation, and Kronos have done much to expand the boundaries of what can be accomplished though one. For this concert, their programme includes Terry Riley's ‘One Earth, One People, One Love’, the world premiere of a new piece by Martin Green of Lau, works by Laurie Anderson and Komitas, and arrangements including The Who's ‘Baba O'Riley’.

Gold Sounds Festival @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Sat 21

This may only be its third appearance, but this all-dayer dedicated to ‘shoegaze, psych, noise & grunge’ is already firmly established as an essential stop on the annual urban festival tour bus. The mighty Yuck headline, with Night Beats, Black Honey, Homeshake, Allusondrugs, Bleeding Heart Pigeons and more providing ear blasting support. Expect the stage to be carpeted with effects pedals, all set to stun…. More info and full line up here

Cate Le Bon @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Wed 25

Welsh born, now resident in Los Angeles, Cate Le Bon’s just released fourth album Crab Day quite simply consolidates her position as one of the more interesting and idiosyncratic songwriters of recent times. With a style that recalls a particularly refined kind of art rock practiced by obscure (Slapp Happy) and more commercial (Talking Heads) bands, Le Bon is a composer and lyricist of considerable subtlety and skill.

Emma Pollock @ Arden Road Social Club, Halifax – Fri 27

Emma Pollack was not only a founder member of quietly influential Scottish indie/post rockers The Delgados, but along with the rest of the band was also responsible for setting up the more overtly influential label Chemikal Underground. Since that bands demise in 2005, Pollack has released three solo albums, which may not mark her as prolific but certainly proves the adage that quality is preferable to quantity every time. Her latest, In Search of Harperfield, is a typically assured collection of songs full of ambitious and adventurous instrumentation and arrangements that are rich in melodies and lyrical nuance.

No Fun Intended Weekender @ Eiger Studios, Leeds – Fri 27 & Sat 28

Not the most high profile label cum promoter, No Fun Intended instead quietly get on with releasing recordings by a choice selection of Leeds extreme metal community (Mountains Crave, Sick Tapestry, Corinth), putting on gigs and staging the odd weekend long feast of riffs, noise and general metal mayhem like this one. Birmingham’s Funeral Doom legends Esoteric headline, but there’s real strength in depth here, with Foetal Juice, Space Witch, Bast, Ten Foot Wizard, Horsebastard, Evisorax, Mastiff, Hundred Year Old Man, Battalions and Cattle providing large helpings of doom, grind, death, hardcore and noise. More info and full line up here


Ten Years of British Wildlife @ Temple of Boom, Leeds – Sat 28

Doughty Leeds promoter Adam Nodwell’s baby has finally reached the ripe old age of ten, and it seems wholly appropriate to celebrate the fact, mainly because British Wildlife is the most reliable source of access to the best of what’s happening in the world of noise/angular riffage/drone/contrarian/blah blahblah rock just now, but also because BW almost disappeared a couple of years ago and this (surely?) means ITS BACK. Australian repeato rockers My Disco headline, but the likes of Cattle, Water, Unwave, Droves, Fawn Spots and the ubiquitous Lugubrious Children provide the usual BW mix of the familiar and the new. More to be added too. More info at


Hugh Masekela & Larry Willis @ Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds – Sat 28

Hugh Masekela is quite simply a giant of modern South African culture and music. Along with a small group of native South African jazz musicians, in the late 1950’s he pioneered a wholly distinct brand of jazz that incorporated elements of traditional African music which, arguably, birthed the entire concept of World Music. After the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, Masekela fled South Africa and subsequently split his time between the UK and the US, teaching, playing and recording steadily over the subsequent half century, quietly consolidating his position as a serious man and a serious musician in the face of the injustice and oppression of Apartheid. Along with many exiles, he returned to South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela. Masekela’s association with jazz pianist Larry Willis stretches back to the 1970’s but the pair released the 4 CD Friends in 2012, a dizzying selection of jazz standards drawn from the whole cannon.

Shellac of North America/Helen Money @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Sun 29

There’s always been a strong whiff of ‘part time hobby’ about Shellac. All three members have always been busy with ‘other’ work, guitarist Steve Albini and bassist Bob Weston in particular happy to be full time recording producers or engineers, and it’s never really clear how or indeed why Shellac albums appear every (based on the last three at least) seven years. You get the feeling Albini, Weston and drummer Tod Trainer are not exactly chomping at the bit when it comes to Shellac. So why did this show sell out almost as soon as it was announced? Perhaps because Albini’s guitar is still one of the most visceral sounds in rock, and because they don’t give a fuck the music they make sounds exactly like no one else. But why Shellac of North America? Is that the result of some kind of contractual war with, I dunno, Shellac of Uzbekistan? Or Shellac of North Shields? Or is it just another prod in Albini’s hater baiting armoury…. By the way, solo cellist Helen Money is completely different but also great, and has a new collaboration with Jarboe just out.

Bradford Literature Festival @ various venues, Bradford – Fri 20 to Sun 29

The third Bradford Literature Festival is a huge, 10 day long celebration of the written and spoken word in all its manifestations, with workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, music, film and theatre that reflect the multi-cultural prism of the host city. With over 200 separate events at 26 venues and 350 individual speakers there’s far too much to detail here in any kind of meaningful way, but there are a host of events for children, as well as events that examine culture, politics, society and faith at local, national and global levels. Some events are free. More info and the compete programme here

Bradford Threadfest @ various venues, Bradford – Fri 20, Wed 25 & Fri 27 to Sun 29

Bradford is clearly THE place to be at the end of May this year. Threadfest returns once again with a typically diverse and rich programme of events that cram masses of music into the Bank Holiday weekend. Highlights include post punk legends The Nightingales, Kenyan folk singer Ogoya Nengo and The Dodo Women's Group, the Sunday afternoon long ‘Out There Sounds for All the Family’ aimed at kids and featuring Japanese one-man band and inventor ICHI, Leeds eternal youngsters Cowtown and others, the ‘Out! Queer Party’ featuring The Jelas, Ravioli Me Away and others, and even some wild prog metal from Italian trio Stearica. More info and full programme here

On the Vibrations stereo...