April gig previewsPosted by vibrations on 27-03-16
Magrudergrind/Corrupt Moral Alter @ Temple of Boom, Leeds – Fri 1
US grind/powerviolence trio Margudergrind just released their third album, imaginatively entitled II, a mere seven years after their second. What they’ve been doing in the intervening years is unclear, but what is indisputable is that the hiatus has not dimmed the brutal ferocity of the band one iota. On another day, Liverpool grinders Corrupt Moral Alter would suffer no competition. Sparks will fly.
StrangeForms Festival @ Wharf Chambers, Leeds - Sat 2 & Sun 3
It may only be the third year of this festival that celebrates all things math, prog or post rock and metal in the UK DIY underground, but StrangeForms, brought to you by those excellent people at Bad Owl, is already firmly established as the festival that kicks off the season round these ‘ere parts. There’s a few familiar faces and some new ones, but highlights this year include Alpha Male Tea Party, Wot Gorilla?, Bearfoot Beware, Cleft, Poly-Math and Upcdownc. Full line up and more info here www.facebook.com/events/937787496308177/
Cowtown/City Yelps/That Fucking Tank/Lord Adonis/Game_Program @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Sun 3
A gig designed with the dual purpose of marking the release of Cowtown’s new single, Castleman, as well as raising funds to enable Leeds’ finest to undertake a tour of the US. This is virtually a humanitarian cause, because we know that Americans will feel so good when they have Cowtown in them. As if that wasn’t reason enough to go along and hand over some readies, you get to see City Yelps, That Fucking Tank and Lord Adonis AS WELL. Its Sunday, what else are you going to do…..
Terry Hall @ The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge – Sun 3
Specials founder member and, afterwards, mainstream pop subversive with the likes of Fun Boy Three and The Colourfield, Terry Hall can offer a unique perspective on A Life In Pop over the last 40 years, both from the very top to its margins. For this ‘In Conversation’ event, discussion of the politics, sexuality and racism of the recent past will no doubt feature quite prominently, and Hall is a more engaging and inclusive speaker than his lugubrious countenance would suggest.
Consumer Electronics/Circuit Breaker/Knifedoutofexistence @ Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Mon 4
The world of harsh noise can nurse its own ‘legends’ without the person concerned troubling the outside world too much. Such a figure is Philip Best, who formed Consumer Electronics in 1982 when he was 14-years-old and a year later joined notoriously confrontational and extreme noise outfit Whitehouse. Best has toured and recorded steadily, amassing a prodigious back catalogue o0f obscure and limited releases, as well as finding time along the way to score a Phd in English Literature. Expect twisted beats, hectoring rants and crushing noise.
Marsicans @ Oporto, Leeds – Wed 6
This hard working Leeds quartet play the kind of pumped up indie pop that’s helped lesser bands effect some kind of break through into what passes for a visible career in pop music these days.
The Necks/James McVinnie @ The Town Hall, Leeds – Wed 6
Billed as ‘The Secret Life of Organs’, this concert seeks to utilise the full range of sound possibilities offered by the huge organ in Leeds Town Hall. Australian trio The Necks have carved a unique position for themselves in modern music, playing wholly or mostly improvised pieces that occupy simultaneously the worlds of jazz, contemporary composition and acoustic ambience. For this concert Chris Abrahams will swap his piano for the organ, a mouth-watering prospect given what he habitually achieves with a mere acoustic keyboard. Meanwhile James McVinnie, previously Assistant Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, will play a specially commissioned piece by Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) and two Philip Glass organ pieces. This is a proper Event, a rare chance to see and hear something extraordinary.
Blanck Mass @ Brudenell Social Club (Games Room), Leeds – Wed 6
Solo project for Benjamin John Power of Fuck Buttons. If not quite as manic as the parent band, Blanck Mass nonetheless shares an open approach to the exploration of electronic music driven by beats and tunes.
John Law’s New Congregation @ Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds – Thur 7
Pianist John Law is a formidably serious, even austerely esoteric, composer and musician, but that doesn’t stop his music being suffused with deeply urgent rhythms and profoundly moving melodies. This gig is part of a long UK tour promoting latest double CD release These Skies In Which We Rust, and will feature a quartet completed by saxophonist Sam Crockatt, bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Dave Hamblett. Modern European jazz of the highest order.
Futuro de Hierro/How Buildings Fail/Nørthern Pøwerhøuse @ The Chemic Tavern, Leeds – Fri 8
More noise and cultural contrariness from those amiable buggers at Hogwash. Futuro de Hierro is Spanish noisenik Víctor Hurtado (sometime collaborator with the likes of Einstürzende Neubauten and Nurse With Wound) who channels the spirit of Elvis and Gene Vincent through sheets of noise. No, really.
Ritual Festival @ Canal Mills, Armley, Leeds – Sat 9
If you’re going to set up a new festival, you may as well start with an absolute banger. And this is an absolute banger. Pulling together bands that roughly inhabit the death and doom metal genres, the organisers have rather improbably managed to fit into a single day across two stages the cream of the UK metal underground circuit, plus a few overseas ringers. Slabdragger, Conan, Black Tongue and Leeds’s own BongCauldron will keep the tones low, heavy and hard, while Full of Hell, OHHMS, 40 Watt Sun and US duo The Body push the music in thrilling new shapes. Swedish death legends Grave headline, celebrating their 30th year. More info and full line up at http://ritualfest.co.uk/and www.canalmills.com
Richard Dawson/Keeley Forsyth @ The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge – Sun 10
Richard Dawson is quite simply one of the most astonishing composers and performers operating in the UK just now. Superficially using ancient folk idioms as the basis for his original songs, Dawson in fact channels a nakedly primal and supernatural gateway from the collective human psyche in tales of both tender and debased acts of humanity. Between songs he’s an affable, engaging compere and possesses a voice that can switch from tender to harrowing in an instant. His guitar style is emphatically and gloriously idiosyncratic. If you haven’t seen Dawson yet, you really do need to.
Submotion Orchestra @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Fri 15 & Sat 16
It’s a great story – one of the coolest bands to come out of Leeds sell out a Saturday night gig at one of the coolest venues in the country, and promptly book another there for the Friday, which no doubt will also sell out. It’s easy to see why Submotion Orchestra are so good, seeing as they feature some of the best jazz musicians to come out of Leeds College of Music in the last decade, but less easy to see why their sublime mixture of sophisticated jazz, dub, R&B and pop doesn’t have them bestriding the commercial world of pop music right now. Latest (fourth) album Colour Theory is just out.
Barshasketh/Mountains Crave/Narayana/Scryre @ Bad Apples, Leeds - Mon 18
Wall to wall black metal. Barshasketh hail from New Zealand but have relocated to Edinburgh, presumably to be nearer the genre’s spiritual home, and play straight as a die BM. Support comes from three Leeds bands showing different facets of the variegated face of BM.
Mission of Burma @ Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds - Thur 21
US post punk/hardcore veterans Mission of Burma formed in 1979, split in 1983, achieved legendary status over the next two decades, and reformed in 2002 from which point they have toured and recorded regularly, their four post reformation albums garnering much praise. Unusually it’s the same basic trio of Roger Miller, Clint Conley and Peter Prescott, with fourth member, tape manipulator and live sound processor Martin Swope being replaced by Bob Weston, Shellac bassist. Notoriously MoB gigs are either a mess, or the best thing you’ve ever heard, mainly because the band don’t take prisoners.
The Lovely Eggs/Molars/Milk Crimes @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Thur 21
Depending on your views on Indie Schmindie, this will either be your idea of hell on earth, or the best gig of the month. Guitar and drums duo The Lovely Egg shave been steadily winning over indie hearts for a full decade now, their bouncy pop punk ringing bells at Radios 1 and 6Music in recent years. Leeds own punk poppers Molars and Milk Crimes should keep grins firmly fixed on faces all night.
Faber Social with Brix Smith-Start, Viv Albertine, Faber New Poets @ The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge – Sun 24 (3:00pm start)
London based music/written word events concept Faber Social makes a rare foray outside the South East to bring two women with compelling stories to tell from the world of popular music. Brix Smith-Start will be In Conversation, discussing her time with The Fall and Mark E Smith, her subsequent solo career and move into fashion retail, while Viv Albertine will read from her recent memoir Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys as well as work in progress. The Faber New Poets will be Rachael Allen, Sam Buchan-Watts, Will Burns and Martha Sprackland reading from their work and DJ Rob Chapman, author of Psychedelia and Other Colours, will be spinning appropriate discs.
Michael Chapman @ The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge – Thur 28
Billed as the ‘Michael Chapman Trio: 2016 – 50 Years On The Road Tour’, this gig will see veteran Yorkshire songwriter and guitarist in a trio with BJ Cole on pedal steel guitar and Sarah Smout on cello.
Melt Yourself Down @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Thur 28
Melt Yourself Down founder Pete Wareham has been a one man short in the arm for jazz in the UK these past few years. His other outfits Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear have helped redefine what more recognisable strains of jazz can do, but Melt Yourself Down continue to rip the envelope right up and push the music into thrilling new shapes. Hip hop, African rhythms, rock and electronica all get a look in but it’s all bound up in the urge to MOVE.
Chantel Macgregor @ Korks, Otley – Fri 29
The alternative UK blues circuit (yes, there is one) is positively booming at the moment, and that’s largely due to young musicians like Bradford born guitarist Chantel Macgregor injecting some youthful pizzazz into the genre. And she’s not alone. For a style of music usually associated with grizzled, gravelly voiced old men, there’s a significant number of women involved in the circuit, with the hard working Macgregor highly likely to become its first ‘breakout’ success.
Unstable Journey/Dream Demolition Factory/Team Picture @ Fox & Newt, Leeds – Sat 30
Loosely affiliated with the psyche rock ethos, these three Leeds bands actually make a bit of effort to do something interesting with the approach rather than merely bang out endless repeato riffs with maxed out distortion. Team Picture have a strong whiff of menace about them, Dream Demolition Factory seem to have been transported whole from some hippy squat in Belgravia circa 1968, and Unstable Journey are happy to mash up Pink Floyd, Spacemen 3 and Fallisms with more experimental and expansive modes of guitar noise.