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.

Gig Preview: City of Lights @ 360 Club, The Library

If you’re heading out tonight, amongst all the festivals there are still gigs popping up over the city!

 

City Of Lights – The Library 360 Club, LS2 3AP

(C) City Of Lights

it’s been a busy run of gigs for City Of Lights since their Live at Leeds appearance back at the start of May. Tonight sees them perform at the 360 Club @ The Library, Hyde Park.

Guitar infused rock/pop and anthemic choruses. Having previously seen these guys allbeit briefly at Live at Leeds, this is a gig well worth checking out to kickstart your weekend antics.

Can’t make tonight?. They’re making an appearance at The Tramlines Festival on Sunday 27th July 2014.

https://www.facebook.com/cityoflightsmusic

 

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

Live at Leeds (Part 4!)

A guilty pleasure of mine at every Live at Leeds Festival is, wait for it, to treat myself to watching an act within the haunting and mesmerizing atmosphere of Trinity Church.

 In recent years this has been forgotten about with the gradual demise of the shopping centres around it. However since Trinity Leeds opened, it almost merges in with the ornate art-deco architecture or Trinity Church.

Tracking the artists appearing during the course of the day, I made it inside the church just as Rhodes was starting. The sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows surrounded the male acoustic artist, only accompanied by his guitar.

 

 

It’s difficult enough being given a timed slot to perform at Live at Leeds, never mind within a church, where every noise is amplified. After the initial movements from the bar to the seat, gradually the noise lessened until the drop of a pin could be heard. The fixation was on Rhodes, with his emotive, haunting voice, echoing amongst the pews.

It really was quite simply stunning to hear. What I usually find is the fact fans of all kinds of music watch a performance of this style as it really is as stripped down as it can possibly be. With a humble ‘thank you’ and a smile punctuating the applause after each track, Rhodes’s voice, piano and guitar just continuously filled the church atmosphere. One to definitely keep an eye on.

 

http://www.rhodesmusic.co.uk/

Live at Leeds (Part 3!)

After an unintentional technical mishap/break (!), I shall now continue my Live at Leeds reviews

Full from my typically northern lunch of a Gregg’s pasty, surprisingly I knew where I wanted to head to next.

The Packhorse, situated by the Parkinson’s Building area of Leeds University, is immediately the kind of pub/venue I like. My immediate concern is that it may be confused with The Packhorse down on Briggate (How inconvenient having two pubs with the same name). My other concern is that as a Leeds native, I still manage to get lost ambling through the campus of Leeds University…

With a lovely local ale in tow, I head upstairs to the function room of The Packhorse. Taking a seat while the band set up, I can immediately note they are minus a member. As well as this, I’m trying to figure out how it is possible to play on a stage the size that this one is.

It soon becomes apparent. Somehow Apollo junction manage to dodge and swerve one another whilst releasing an electro-indie beat that automatically had you tapping your feet to. With catchy melodies of ‘Such a Carry On’ and ‘Here Come The Zombies’ filling the room, it’s these infectious tunes that have seen Apollo Junction receive nationwide recognition.

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Bringing the beats down a gear, ‘If I Fell’ (Which saw the band received radio airplay from the likes of Graham Norton) is strong guitar-infused indie (Think Shed Seven crossed with Biffy Clyro). With their constant upbeat manner (Including climbing up onto the seats and twirling around the array of wires) you could completely hate music and it would be impossible to dislike this band.

Yes they are that infectious.You’d be foolish not to listen to them.

Apollo Junction Soundcloud 

Apollo Junction Website

Oxjam October

A little later than hoped for (due to bizarrely losing the ability to edit my WordPress!) the rest of my Live at Leeds review will be on here shortly. In the meantime, I pondered and then requested a ‘Gig Maker’ toolkit from Oxfam for their annual Oxjam Festival.

Wanting to put little ol’ Horsforth on the map a bit more, any suggestions as to where this can be held (I’ve a few ideas knocking around) and if you’d like to play in an event like it, let me know. Just at the very start of the pipeline for now but it’s best to be prepared eh?

 

Read more about Oxjam here 

 

 

The Sunshine Underground – 19th May 2014 – Free Acoustic Gig – Crash Records

Taking a diversion from Live at Leeds reviews.

Fantastic news, the Sunshine Underground are to play a free acoustic gig in Crash Record on Monday 19th May 2014 at 5.00pm.

As taken from Crash Records

The Sunshine Underground free live acoustic set in the shop on Monday 19th May. (09/05/2014 @ 15:35:21)

The new self titled Sunshine Underground album is released on Monday 19th May and we are very pleased to announce that they will be performing a free live acoustic set in the shop at 5pm on the day of release. All customers who pre-order the album on either format in the shop or online will be guaranteed entry to the gig. All other places will be on a first come first served basis. Online orders can be collected in the shop on release date when The Sunshine Underground will be happy to sign CDs and LPs after they have finished their live performance. The CD will be £9.99 and the LP £13.99.