TRACK REVIEW The Paisley Royals – ‘Keeping Off The Track’

Reminiscent of the Brit-Pop 90’s era, ‘Keeping Off The Track’ is everything you want a song to be; catchy guitars, strong vocals and that melody which despite your best efforts will result in you tapping your foot/nodding your head/swaying from side to side (delete as appropriate). If you think festival performance on a summer day, you may understand what I am on about.

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Sneakily listening to other tracks on the band’s Soundcloud, ‘Keeping Off The Track’ is not a one-track wonder. ‘Flirtatious Beat’ is upbeat and infectious whereas ‘No Dancing On The Tables’ showcases the vocal and harmonising skills of the band.

Although evident the likes of Blur, Oasis and Catfish and the Bottlemen are obvious influences, it is by no means a criticism. The individual style and talent of the band is strongly evident throughout and it is hardly surprising that they will shortly be releasing their debut EP.

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Miller Blue – ‘Cold Hands’

In the digital era of music, it can be refreshing to hear music that focuses predominantly on the vocal. Something ‘Cold Hands’ manages to do.

The backing track is somewhat haunting and seemingly supports the rawness of 19-year-old Benjamin Edward’s (Miller Blue) voice. Soulful with an element of electronica-pop, a stunning, and mature, combination for an artist who is only just working their way through university.

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Miller Blue – ‘Persistance’ EP

Delving a little deeper and stumbling across the EP released in September 2015, there is no end to the diversity within the songs. ‘Marigold’ and ‘Vibe’ hold a combination of Hip Hop and R’n’B with the underlying soul still present.

To have the musical ability to provide such a range of genres is brilliant to see and one that should be noted for, I believe, an extremely successful future.

 

Listen if you enjoy; James Blake, Bastille, The Walkmen

EP REVIEW – THE GRAND – ‘Incapacitated, Ill Fated, and In Love’

You can never have too much of a good thing. Too right. In this instance it’s music; more specifically bands hailing from Wakefield.

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EP Cover

This Friday sees the release of  ‘Incapacitated, Ill-Fated and In Love EP’ by The Grand; a 3-piece alternative outfit who in recent months have received numerous airplay opportunities on BBC Leeds and featured on the Yorkshire Evening Post Postmusic podcast.

Starting the record with the dramatic bassline of ‘Romance is Dead’, gradually building with vocals, percussion and guitars it is immediately a likeable, foot-tapping, melody. This theme continues into through the ‘A City That Loves Me’ (Which also includes the use of what sound like brass instruments, somewhat adding to the uplifting of the song).

With thought-provoking song titles and lyrics which, may I add, are sung so emotively (Think Hamilton Leitheuser ‘strained’) that it makes the listener feel like they are personally being told a story for each song.

This is particularly the case for slower number, ‘Don’t You Hate it When I’m Right’ which personally I feel is one of those songs which needs to be played and heard live. There is such an incredible clash of sounds; deep and sultry bass tones, resulting in a crescendo of instrumental.

The Grand

The Grand

Increasing the pace, The Grand showcase they can produce a mixture of guitar and bass infused dramatic melodies, teamed with strong vocal ability, creating an alternative ‘pop’ sound that is very addictive.

They certainly know how to compose a record as well. Just as ‘Romance is Dead’ led us into the album, the almost haunting ‘Evening Fell, The Curtains Close’ uses and echoing vocal range to build us up before subtly reducing the input before the final guitar pluck is heard.

Tickets are selling fast for the show at Nation of Shopkeepers in Leeds on Friday 24th April.

After listening to the EP, is it any wonder?

The Grand ‘Incapacitated, Ill-Fated and In Love’ is available to pre-order from Friday 24th April 2015. See www.facebook.com/thegrandwakefield for more information.

Where shall we hold the next gig?

Over the last few years, the student population of Leeds has gradually expanded taking it into the suburbs.

What was originally Leeds City Centre and Hyde Park advanced through Headingley, and through the expansion and recognition of Leeds Trinity University, Horsforth has now become enveloped within the student population.

Therefore it hardly came as a surprise when they announced a ‘Fresher’s Week’ set of events at the University itself.

Why post about this? Far-fetched and probably not a possibility (Or already explored) once I heard about Scouting For Girls playing Leeds Trinity University I started to wonder.

Why can’t Leeds Trinity SU become an outdoor gig venue?

Not a crazy schedule – since the University of Leeds SU and Leeds Met Beckett SU have reduced their gig schedule over the years with other venues in the city centre. Millenium Square has hosted outdoor events too.

However I do genuinely think it could work, and generate additional income for the local area.

With good transport links back into Leeds City Centre (Horsforth Train Station and regular buses servicing the ‘top end’ of Horsforth), plenty of pubs and restaurants in the local area (And takeaways for the post-gig snacks) it would be a challenge to take that gig experience to the suburbs.

Perhaps from Easter onwards when the student lifestyles are calming down, I don’t know.

It may be a suggestion which has immediate issues. Sound restrictions, all the Health and Safety ‘T&C’s’, but I feel it is a consideration which would start to spread the love of live music to a greater level.

Plus the day I can walk to and from a gig from my house is a happy day.

Just my thoughts and food for thought – I’ll blame the change of weather and the recent demise of yet another music venue.

Weekend Gig Preview Time

 

There are so many gigs to choose from this weekend; Howling Bells at Brudenell Social Club, Hidden Charms at The Library to name amongst your options out there.

 

The highlight for me this weekend is Glass Caves who are playing The Cockpit tonight (7th). Place them in the centre of York and they may be more familiar to you. Known for busking on the streets and taking the traditional route of busking and advertising their upcoming gigs on scraps of cardboard they have gathered quite a following of fans. Having caught my eye whilst visiting York a while ago, tonight I’m off to see their presence within the Dark Arches of Leeds

Glass Caves Facebook