Gig Review: Saint Motel

Featured image: Saint Motel

Funky, fresh and recognisable from a number of TV ads including Uber, the 2014 Phones 4 U campaign and most recently Now TV. Music from Saint Motel has featured multiple times on FIFA in both 2015 and 2017. Some readers amongst you may know that Coasts were on the 2016 version. Having never played FIFA myself (maybe once but I’m pretty sure I was rubbish) I’ll have to take the internet’s word for it.

The music genre of the LA foursome has been described as a variety of different styles from indie pop, progressive indie and (my favourite) dream pop. By bringing together a number of different styles and instruments, Saint Motel create an effervescent style which is sure to make you ‘move’

Local Leeds lads Happy Daggers brought the toe tapping, feel good vibes which were simply falsetto-tastic. Personal favourites included
Closer and dance floor filling (ok there were four of us but that still counts right?) Get Yourself Together. Another worthy mention in the keyboard player’s Game Of Thrones t-shirt proclaiming that ‘Winter Is Here’

Victors (also from Leeds) had that electronic pop sound and a whole lot of bass (literally my whole being was vibrating)

‘Stay With Me,’ the first ever song that the band wrote together was an uplifting booty-shaker and I particularly enjoyed ‘Holding On’

Finally it was time for Saint Motel and there were slightly more than four of us on the dance floor, quite an impressive turnout for a Tuesday night actually.

It has been two years since Saint Motel were last in Leeds so to saw that their presence was eagerly anticipated would be an understatement and I was jostled around quite a bit by die hard fans to get to the front. I won in the end.

If I were to describe Saint Motel’s set in three words it would be: explosive, awesome, saxophone.

Really though the sax was one of the highlights of the set and the instantly recognisable intro to ‘Just My Type’ has got me hooked.

There was so many great moments of the night including AJ joining the audience during the encore, high- fives all round and stellar sax solos.
Saint Motel are known to have said that they aim to deliver a ‘big, crazy experience whenever [people come] to see us.” Well they certainly delivered!!! If you are in the U.K. You can catch them at Latitude fest on Friday.

Top tunes of the night included
‘You can be you’ the hippyish ‘Benny Howard’ and the fan favourite ‘My Type’

 

Gig Review: Rupert Stroud

Featured image: Rupert Stroud

Rupert Stroud’s latest EP Heart and Soul has been a long time coming and it was with bubbling excitement that I entered the Belgrave last night.

Jade Helliwell opened the stage with a smattering of country classics and songs from her EP. The northern singer impressed with array of new British country sounds interlaced with pop beats.

Next up were The Dunwells or half of them in any case. The pop/rock band from Leeds have been on my radar for quite some time now but up until last night I had always managed to miss them.

With a sound that is bright, bold and somewhat heroic Joe and Dave Dunwell reminded the crowd that we are ‘The Lucky Ones’

Their acoustic cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ was really something else and perfectly showcased Joe’s incredible vocals.

The disastrous floods of Boxing Day 2015-16 affected many of music studios around Leeds and Rupert Stroud was unfortunately one of those artists. It was therefore perhaps not surprising that Rupert has been fairly quiet over the past year, opting instead to play at a number of private venues.

Rupert’s intense, gravelly vocals (even when he’s not doing his batman voice) will instantly grab you, reeling you in.

I loved hearing songs from Rupert’s widely acclaimed back catalogue including the anthemic ‘Way Back Home’ which is pure Yorkshire gold.

‘Trouble’ has always been a particular favourite of mine and I was excited to hear that the song has had a bit of makeover as ‘Demons’

Songs from the ‘Heart and Soul’ EP have a introspective take on what it means to be alive and I loved the acousticy feel of ‘Believe’

Grab your copy of the ‘Heart and Soul’ EP here or on iTunes.

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Gig Review: Dan Croll

Featured Image: Dan Croll 

The transcendent, electronic pop beats with ethereal notes from Peakes set the evening off to a great start with highlights including ‘Waves’ and ‘Spaces.’  

Outlya got the party started early, joining the queue outside the venue before the doors opened with a portable keyboard in hand.  Revving the early comers with a call and response, Outlya had us anticipating more and they definitely did not disappoint as they showed us ‘the light’ on the way to ‘heaven.’ You could even say that we were dancing around the ‘volcano.’ 

On October 16th 2014 a younger version of myself stood in the very same room as I am now (said room being The Wardrobe in Leeds) and that is basically the story of how I fell in love with Dan Croll. 

Fast forward to 2016 and Dan was to appear at that year’s Live At Leeds festival. Insert me awkwardly waving at Dan Croll before realising that Dan did in fact not actually know who the hell I was. Just me, being a crazy woman waving. 

It’s 2017 and Dan Croll is back baby and his second album, Emerging Adulthood is set to be released in July. 

So let us ‘Swim’  ‘Away From Today’  and omg Dan Croll just walked in, somebody hold me! 

New songs from the forthcoming album were seamlessly woven with old favourites including the stunning ‘January’ and ‘Be Alone’ which bears a significant message, very poignant for #mentalhealthawareness week, that everyone wants to be alone sometimes and that it’s ok not to be ok.

A personal highlight of the evening was ‘From Nowhere’ which is actually my ringtone. After hearing the song oh so many times it was a massive privilege to hear it live once again so thanks Dan and I look forward to catching you again soon! 

Don’t miss out on Dan’s UK tour:

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Gig Review: Cattle and Cane

Featured Image: Cattle and Cane
I have last year’s Live At Leeds festival to thank for introducing me to Cattle and Cane. The folk group fronted by the Hammill siblings played last night at one of my favourite venues in Leeds: The Wardrobe.

As the room swelled with music lovers, the introspective lyrics and simplistic instrumentals of People’s Poem (the support act) filled the air ‘Was I Wrong’ was personal highlight of the soul searching set.

Cattle and Cane, from Teeside, released their second album ‘Mirrors’ earlier this week and are touring the UK to promote the new record.  Tracks from ‘Mirrors’ seamlessly bring together country and folk influences and effervescent 80s pop vibes with stand out tracks including ‘Saviour’ and ‘Dealing with the Devil.’

Even though the album is called mirrors, Helen informed the crowd, there wasn’t a single mirror in the dressing room!

The set included a number of tracks from both the new album as well as old favourites from the previous record which, of course, led to their fans from far a field as Glasgow and Scunthorpe joining in for a Saturday night sing-a-long.

Be sure to catch Cattle and Cane as they head to Masham, Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff. cattle and cane spring tour

Natalie Holmes: Gig Review

Featured image: Facebook

I first came across Natalie Holmes in 2012 when she was playing the support for Gabrielle Aplin in Leeds and I instantly fell in love with her angelic voice and really cute, catchy songs.

Fast forward five years and you will find me sitting in the community centre of Natalie’s hometown of Keynsham eagerly waiting to hear songs from the newest EP (her fourth) as well as the first show that was to be played with the new band.

The small, intimate gig – which was made all the more special by being in the singer’s hometown- was put on as part of Bath Festivals, a new festival that showcases the arts in and around the city of Bath.

The room was awash with family and friends…and me….her brother had even come back home from university in Plymouth for the evening. Indeed the mayor of the town was the one to welcome Natalie to the stage. How’s that for a holmey…I mean homely gig.

The set included old favourites including ‘Don’t Know Me’ and ‘Child’ as well as #musicmonday pick ‘Hydrogen’ and whilst I have normally only ever heard these songs played solo I loved the sense of depth brought about with the addition of the band.

In amongst these treasured faves Natalie Holmes shared tracks from the new EP including the stunning ‘Immune To It’ and ‘Have You Seen My Mind.’

The new EP will be released in just over a months time and I can’t wait to own a copy!

Hippo Campus and Marsicans Gig Review

Photo Credits: http://www.youtube.com and http://www.marsicans.co.uk

For transatlantic indie rock with a pinch of dirty pop then you should have headed down to the Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen in Leeds last night (31st January) for local Leeds lads; Marsicans and exports from Minnesota; Hippo Campus

The ‘boyish’ sounds of Hippo Campus  are bright, happy and toe-tappingly good that will have you singing along for days. It was the four piece indie band’s first headline show in Leeds but you would have been excused at not knowing this as the room was fit to bursting.

A highlight for me was one the band’s more widely known tracks ‘Suicide Saturday’ and ‘Way It Goes’

Sometimes you will go to a gig and the headline act is eclipsed by their support act and in this particular instance I can say that is exactly what happened.

The Marsicans were killing it last night with their hilarious stage presence, unbridled energy and awesome talent.

Personal faves of their set included the Michael Jackson  ‘Man In The Mirror’  segment before ‘Swimming’ and new single ‘Friends.’