Fold, Stretch Trio, Tom Wynn @ Headrow House, Leeds

Posted by vibrations on 28-04-16

When you’ve been in the whole Leeds music thing for as long as I have (and I consider myself to be a mere neophyte compared to some), you see a lot of changes… once upon a time, the go to place for new bands on the Headrow was The Vine, dubious and cheap as it was, and you’d see some good stuff there. Now Headrow House, wallet cripplingly trendy and so boho as it is, is the go to place on the Headrow, built in what used to be the place to go if you were sick of life or really liked getting stabbed or robbed…

Anyway, newey new stuff. Tom Wynn is new, with his poncho and baseball cap, twiddling with laptops and making the sort of noise you’d expect to hear at a boom rave when you’re full of Joss Ackland’s spunky back pack… actually, it’s really bemusing, with something going on of a musical nature and Tom mumbling into the microphone. It’s almost like some guy has taken over the decks at a house party and is refusing to play anything recognisable, entertaining or crowd pleasing. At some point it ends and off he goes into the night, poncho and all.

Stretch Trio, I suspect, are a bit jazz. I say this because no one, but no one outside of the jazz fraternity would wear their guitar that high… its Mark King high. And one of the other members of the trio is playing an electronic clarinet… then a saxophone… and has a top knot. Actually, it’s not as horrible as I’m making it sound. The sound they’re making is melodic, hypnotic, exciting (that drummer really goes for it) and more like early Maybeshewill than fusion jazz. I feel repelled… and enticed. I shouldn’t… but I do.

Foldare one of those bands that appear to have appeared suddenly from nowhere but have actually been active since 2012. It would seem that during this time they have been tuning their performance to a finely oiled machine, flawless and as tightly meshed as four individuals could be expected to be. The tunes are slick and groovy, the message clear, pugnacious and pertinent (inequality, global warming, oil tyranny, American imperialism), masterfully depicted in their visuals, the performance joyful and effortless. In fact, that might be my only criticism – the performance is so polished, so free of rough edges and quirks that there is a lack of surprise, risk, daring… something – I’m just picking holes, really. They’re a really good band, capable of great things, great things. One very much to watch and get behind before they become very trendy indeed – you won’t be able to afford to see them then.

Rob Wright

On the Vibrations stereo...