Fanfarlo, Jesca Hoop, And Race Horses At The Brudenell Social Club In Leeds On Thursday 11th Of February 2010.

You know when you go to a gig you knew was going to be good but then it turns out to be great and you know it will be one of your favourites ever. Well, thats what happened on Thursday. We set off from sunny Middlesbrough in a less than full mini-bus. But all the northernliners on board knew it was worth the trip to see one of the best bands of 2009; Fanfarlo. What we didn’t expect was how good the other two acts were going to be.

It was my first trip to the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds (brudenellsocial club.co.uk and myspace.com/brudenell). I had heard of it many times but had yet to visit. What a great club. A good old fashioned Social Club it is but also a great venue. Views from all areas are excellent and the sound was superb for all 3 acts. I took quite a few pictures, some are here. The rest are on Facebook page The Northern Line, go see them in all their glory. Brudenell is based on 33 Queens Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS6 1NY. Friendly staff, snooker tables, great selection of beers and run as a “non-profitmaking” venue that holds charitable status. Could you ask for more. Well, yes. To see 3 great acts!

First up was Race Horses; 4 Welsh Wizards who we will put up there with Super Furry Animals, John Charles, Dylan Thomas and Tom Jones as great exports from the land of the Valleys. I had heard the name but not the music and boy was I in for a surprise. As they came on stage I wasn’t at all sure about the singers pink jumper or the fact he looked a bit like a kids cartoon character. But once they started I was hooked. So hooked in fact that I bought the album and single that they had on sale. The set comprised of most of the album Goodbye Falkenburg  released on that fantastic label Fantastic Plastic. (www.fpmusic.org) I wont go on and on as they are set to play in Middlesbrough in April and we will be doing a major feature on them; t-shirts, pictures and everything. As I mentioned the name earlier I have to say they reminded me of Super Furry Animals probably due to the infectious tunes and the fact they sing some of their songs in Welsh. This is no bad thing. Anyone who bought or heard MWNG by the Furrys will know that the language lends itself to music better than most. They also have a bit of  Futureheads and The Kinks in the mix. The single Man in my mind also opens the album and is a great introduction to the band. Go buy the album, download some tunes, see them live, visit their site www.racehorsesmusic.com I cannot wait until April the first (no joke) when I get to see them again. Great tunes, great lads, a name you will hear a lot more of I’m sure.

Next up was Jesca Hoop. (www.myspace.com/jescahoop) One time nanny for Tom Waits, no less. On the journey home we discussed who she reminded us of; Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega were three of the names mentioned. To me the name of Kristin Hersh sprung to mind. The one time singer with Throwing Muses who released a superb solo album back in 1994 called Hips and Makers. The opening track of which was a haunting tune called Your Ghost with Michael Stipe on backing vocals. Tonight Jesca Hoop was doing a solo set with songs about her own ghosts, namely her mum battling cancer. The following evening she was taking a full band up to Boro. Her album is out now. Go have a look. It’s called Hunting my dress and is well worth a listen.

Last up were the band who got my vote for gig of the year and album of the year 2009. Ladies and Gentlemen I present Fanfarlo. (www.fanfarlo.com) If you haven’t bought Reservoir yet then what have you been up to? They play in Newcastle next month with Mumford and Sons at the University (March the 7th) Surely the gig of the year already? We will be there to do a review and see if they are wearing the t-shirts I gave to them tonight.

They bounce on stage and launch into a 5 voice rendition of The Walls are coming down. Then my favourite Fire Escape. The great tunes come thick and fast. Luna, Comets, I’m a Pilot and Harold T. Wilkins are all brilliantly delivered. They are truly a fantastic band. Yes, they get the lame Arcade Fire comparisons but they are so much more. They wear their hearts on their sleeves like medals from a war. They wouldn’t win any prizes for their fashion sense but that all adds to their appeal. At one stage I counted all the different instruments used in one song. I lost count at 8. Eclectic, whimsical, downright fantastic. I truly love this band. In the way we all loved Belle and Sebastian around the time of If your feeling sinister. Looking forward to Sunday March the 7th. Let’s hope they are wearing their hearts on their northernline shirts.

By peter on February 14, 2010


Check out all the pics

2 Comments » RSS Comment Feed

  1. Nice review Pete. I’ll resize pics if you want to add? Email-em over.

    Comment by Dave — February 16, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  2. personally i love their quirky fashion sense! great review of a fantastic gig.

    Comment by siobhan — February 19, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

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