With the release of Bombay Bicycle Club’s fifth studio album ‘Everything Else Has Gone Wrong’ on the 17thJanuary 2020 the band have embarked on a UK and world tour.
Luckily for us Bombay Bicycle Club called into a packed out O2 Academy Leeds to deliver a fantastic headline set which got the crowd singing and dancing form the start.
First up on stage was Liz Lawrence who delivered a fantastic set full of interesting drumbeats and driving guitars and did a fantastic job in warming the crowd up for the main event.
Next up on the stage was The Big Moon who, like Bombay Bicycle Club released a new album earlier this year. This was the busiest I have seen this venue for a support band and The Big Moon delivered a brilliant set getting the crowd dancing in anticipation for the headline act. Based on this short set it will surely not be long before The Big Moon are on a headline tour of their own.
Bombay Bicycle Club took to the stage at 20:15 in their matching white shirts and black trousers and did not waste any time kicking things off with ‘Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You) taken from their newest album this got the crowd dancing from the off. The Energy levels in fact did not drop for the majority of the set and the band powered through a number of songs taken from across all five of their albums.
With the crowd singing and dancing throughout the energy and excitement was if possible heightened on the occasions Liz Lawrence was brought to the forefront of the stage in order to assist with the vocals as was the case with ‘Feel’.
At around the halfway mark the band slowed things down a touch when again joined by Liz Lawrence they performed ‘Home By Now’. The slow pace of the song allowed the audience a small breather though this was not taken by most as they continued to sing along to the song.
Despite the crowd singing from the start of the show the slow tempo of this song showed with how much enthusiasm the crowd were actually singing along with. Front man Jack Steadman even remarked on this when taking his earpieces out remarking he had not realised just how loudly the crowd were singing.
This lull however did not last long as Bombay Bicycle Club kicked things back up a gear with ‘Cancel On Me’ which is taken from the bands first album which was released way back in 2009. Guitarist Jamie MacColl even remarked that last year marked the 10th anniversary of the album but the band were unable to play a gig in Leeds to mark the occasion.
This performance however more than made up for the missed show last year.
Bombay Bicycle Club continued to have the crowd dancing and singing right to the last song. Tracks ‘Shuffle’ and ‘Luna’ were played back to back which got one of the biggest reactions of the night getting the whole place bouncing.
The band closed their show with ‘Carry me’ and left the stage to a storm of noise from the audience. However as is customary at gigs the band returned to the stage after a few moments and performed the title track from the newest album, ‘Everything Else Has Gone Wrong’. Bombay Bicycle Club then announced that the next song was in fact their last and there was really only one song this could be. ‘Always Like This’ closed the show in magnificent style, ensuring the crowd were singing and dancing right until the end.
After a four-year hiatus with no new music and now live performances Bombay Bicycle Club are well and truly back and the music industry is a much more interesting place for this. The band continue the UK leg of their tour until the 16th February and take things international following this date. Should you get the chance to go and see Bombay Bicycle Club on their tour I would strongly urge you to do so as they are properly back in business and you will not be disappointed.
· Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)
· Is it Real
· I Can Hardly Speak
· I Worry ‘Bout You
· Your Eyes
· Lights Out, Words Gone
· Home By Now
· Cancel On Me
· Dust On The Ground
· Good Day
· How Can you Swallow So much Sleep
· Carry Me
· Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
· Always Like This
WORDS & PHOTOS - JOHN MCEVOY
A capacity crowd at the Leeds O2 welcomed back Mabel on her current sell out UK tour following the release of the ‘High Expectations’ album released late last year, and it’s easy to see why there’s a real buzz about here at the moment.
She’s been nominated for the three Brit awards this year, best female solo artist, best newcomer and song of the year, and if she doesn’t pick up at least one of these awards, then I think we should be referring the decisions to VAR!
On stage at 9:00pm on the dot, and surrounded by 4 dancers throughout the gig, this was an R&B gig of the highest quality. Opening with the banger ‘Mad Love’ she worked the stage like a caged tiger whilst all the time her scarily energetic dancers surrounded here at all times, with their tightly choreographed moves.
It was a predominantly young audience at tonight’s gig and they were only too willing to indulge in call and response and singalongs when Mabel gave them the signal.
Her new album featured heavily throughout the set and whilst this was put together by an army of producers and collaborators, the new material was well delivered by a live band who kept the tunes moving at pace.
‘Finders Keepers’ allowed her to display just how good her vocals really are. R&B live acts can be notoriously dodgy and not afraid to utilise a little ‘autotune’ help from time to time. Mabel doesn’t need any of this, and her voice was strong and powerful throughout the evening.
Throughout the evening she chatted away with the audience and she came across as someone who was genuinely enjoying herself on stage and has complete confidence in her ability to deliver.
A set full of high octane dance tunes was frankly a great way to close of the weekend, and set closer ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ ensured that the crowd went off into the night knowing that they had seen an artist in the ascendancy.
Nominated for Brits awards, and performing at the event itself, 2020 could be a very big year for Mabel, and deservedly so.
Mum and Dad should be very proud!
Remaining tour dates are below, but you may have beg, borrow or steal to get a ticket…
· Mad Love
· Bad Behaviour
· Finders Keepers
· We Don’t Say
· Selfish Love
· My Lover/Cigarettes
· Come Over/Girls Love Beyonce/Thinking of you
· Stckhlm Syndrome
· One Shot
· Put Your Name On It
· Fine Line
· God Is A Dancer
· Ring Ring
· Don’t Call Me Up
WORDS & PHOTOS - JOHN MCEVOY
‘Top Boy’ Kano called in at the O2 Leeds on his current ‘Hoodies All Summer’ UK tour and the near capacity crowd loved every minute of it.
Kano is clearly a talented fella, as he’s also currently appearing in the latest season of ‘Top Boy’ which is doing very brisk business on Netflix at the moment.
‘Hoodies All Summer’ is his sixth album, released last summer to critical acclaim, it’s a sort of grime, hip hop mash up, and concentrates the every struggles on young black men growing up in the UK.
Tonight’s set featured many track from the new album, but also the inevitable bangers which went down an absolute storm. Accompanied on stage by DJ’s and drummer for much of the set, the overall sound was given a huge kick in the rear end when the brass section arrived on stage, which in itself would be unusual for a dance artist.
But you know what, it actually worked, and they were a genuine highlight of the evening.
P’s and Q’s in particular was an absolute steamer of a tune, and with the addition of the brass section, this metaphorically took the roof off the venue.
Special mention must go to ‘Free Years Later’ from his current album, which for this reviewer was beautifully delivered, has incisive lyrics and was one of the finest tracks from 2019.
His machine gun rap style is at times a sight to behold throughout the gig, and it’s clear to see why he’s at the vanguard of British Hip Hop and still a ‘Top Boy’….
WORDS & PHOTOS - JOHN MCEVOY
Following the release of his album ‘Armagideon’ in January of this year, Joe Gideon called in at the Leeds Brudenell during his UK tour, and it would be fair to say that this 3-piece band delivered a vibrant set of earthy blues and psychedelia, all delivered with a punk feel.
With Gideon on lead guitar, Jim Sclavunos from The Bad Seeds on drums, and on keyboards multi-instrumentalist Gris-de-Lin, the 3 of them they created an impressive wall of sound.
‘Expandable Mandible’ from his new album showcased what this band is all about, with dark humorous lyrics, underpinned by crashing guitar and thunderous drums, and vocals, they reminded me of early Pink Floyd, (and that is meant to be a compliment by the way!)
Stand out track for me was the excellent ‘Eugene Went Crazy’ from the ‘Versa Vice’ album. Starting with Sclavunos engaging in some serious thigh slapping, this track builds up beautifully with the deep groove feel enhanced by Gris-de-Lin on keyboards, and builds up to a wonderous cacophony of guitars, drums and keyboards and I loved every minute of it.
For me, Joe Gideon is that rare thing in British music, a genuinely gifted and slightly eccentric artist, working with equally gifted musicians, delivering clever warm, darkly humorous songs in a style that has been well trodden, but in this case he and the band have managed to write and deliver tunes that can be appreciated by a 2020 audience.
It would be fair to say that it certainly wasn’t a capacity crowd at The Brudenell, but you know what, with luck and maybe an appearance on something like Later.. with Jools Holland would raise the profile of Joe Gideon and playing to packed houses wouldn’t be far away.
If you get the opportunity to catch this band, grab it with both hands.
You won’t regret it!
After around four years away from the music industry Jack Garratt is back with a new album ‘Love, Death & Dancing’ which is set for release on the 29th May 2020. In the run up to this release, Jack is playing a string of shows across the UK and Europe, and it is safe to say that based on the performance in Leeds the break has done Jack wonders. He was in fantastic form with some fantastic new music which will no doubt have fans exited for the release of the new album.
On arrival at the venue the audience were greeted by a letter from Jack asking that phones be turned off and explaining that the audience should expect to hear a lot of new music. Jack took to the stage just after eight and blasted straight into two tracks from his upcoming album, ‘Return Them to the one’ and ‘Better’ which with their swirling pulsing synths and driving drums had the crowd dancing from the start.
Things slowed down at this point however jack continued with the new music, and between tracks Jack spoke very openly about the with the audience about the struggles he has had during his four-year break, his battle with depression and his visits to therapy which the songs ‘Doctor Please’ and ‘Circles’ were about.
From the context of the new songs, and what Jack was saying between songs it is clear that he has been in a very dark place for the past few years, but it is great to see him back and clearly enjoying what he does.
Jack then went on to play a track from his first album ‘Weathered’ but before that an impromptu rendition of ‘Go The Distance’ had the crowd laughing and cheering and ‘Weathered’ had the crowd singing at the top of their voice and dancing throughout. The only other song Jack played from his first album was ‘Worry’ which again had the crowd singing at the top of their voice.
‘She Will Lay My Body on The Stone’ was next and Jack explained that this was his favourite song, and the best song in his opinion he had ever written. This was one of the slower tunes of the night but documented one of Jacks darkest times during the last few years.
But as he explained, this is a song that has a beginning, middle and end and from my interpretation of the song it does have a happy ending and is a beautiful track as well.
Jack ended the gig with his newest single ‘Time’ and ‘Bravest’ which closed the show in some style. Based on this performance Jack Garratt is well and truly back, and based on the new music,
His upcoming album is something to look forward to, and given his struggles in the past few years, it is great to see him back and enjoying his music again.
1. Return Them To The One
3. Doctor Please
5. Go the Distance
9. She Will Lay My Body on The Stone
10. (Old Enough)
WORDS & PHOTOS - LIAM MCEVOY
After forming the band fourteen years ago in Leeds, Gentlemans Dub Club returned to the Wardrobe in Leeds on their 100% tour. The eight piece reggae and dub outfit consisting of Jonathan Scratchley on vocals, Kieren Gallagher on saxophone, Matt Roberts on trumpet, Luke Allwood on Keys, Nick Tyson on guitar, Toby Davies on bass, Tommy Evans on drums, and Niall Lavelle on percussion, performed a fantastic home coming gig which had the crowd bouncing from the first moment to the last.
First up on the stage was Gardna. The Bristol based MC did a great job warming the crowd up for the headline act. His rhythm and flow were fantastic and he got the crowd bouncing and dancing from the off.
After this it was time for the headline act. The Gentleman’s Dub Club took to the stage to a storm of noise and wasted no time getting the crowd bouncing from the very first with ‘Second Nature’. The band kept the energy at 100% powering through songs taken from across the bands eight albums. The songs ‘Stardust’ and ‘Dancing in the breeze’ in particular got massive reactions with the crowd sing at the top of their voices and dancing non-stop.
With everybody suitably sweaty from the non-stop dancing, the band slowed things down for a moment performing ‘Higher Ground’. The lull however did not last for long as at the end of this song Gallagher performed a jazz filled saxophone solo, and the band went straight from this into ‘Earthquake’ which raised the energy levels to maximum once again.
Towards the end of the set the band performed what frontman Scratchley described as possibly the first song the band wrote, ‘Gentleman’s Sleng’. Gentleman’s Dub Club were joined on stage for this by Gardna and from this point onwards did they played ‘Gentleman’s Sleng’, ‘Raised on The Amen’, ‘Rude Boy’ and ‘Fire Jungle Remix’ in one seamless performance. This saw both the band and the crowd dancing away until the end of the set.
After a few moments Scratchley returned to the stage and asked the crowd whether they wanted to hear any more which was met with a deafening response. The rest of the band subsequently returned to the stage and performed ‘Let a Little Love’ and ‘Higher Grade’. Mosh pits formed in the crowd and the band got the entire place rocking right the end of the gig.
Gentleman’s Dub Club delivered a fantastic headline set full of energy which went down an absolute storm with the crowd.
If you get chance you should definitely get down and join the Gentleman’s Dub Club party.
2. Second Nature (Short Version)
3. Music is the Girl I Love
5. Walking Away
6. Out of This World
7. Dancing in the Breeze
8. Second Nature
9. 100% Ft Bitty Mclean
10. Higher Ground
12. Midnight Healing
14. Gentlemen’s Sleng
15. Raised on the Amen
16. Rude Boy
17. Fire Jungle Remix
18. Let a Little Love
19. High Grade
WORDS & PHOTOS - LEVI TUBMAN
The Sherlocks, a relatively young band from Barnsley have only been going for a few years, but don’t let their youth fool you! Last night they packed out the O2 academy once again proving the British music scene is stronger than ever and they didn’t disappoint their sold-out crowd.
Opening the night were fellow south Yorkshire band The Rosadocs, and they let everyone know exactly where they’re from, with every gap of their short set filled with chants of YORKSHIRE YORKSHIRE YORKSHIRE! setting the tone for the night. With influences ranging from 90’s brit pop to modern indie their catchy riffs are real crowd pleasers.
You could be forgiven for thinking the main support band, Ivory Wave, are from 1990’s Manchester. This Birmingham 5 piece came on stage with a look of early Oasis but the sounding like The Happy Mondays featuring the Stone Roses. Their synth lead electronic indie sound is fairly slow medium pace but with the energy of songs twice the tempo. I’m not sure the o2 has seen such a wild pit for such slow groovy songs, their energy left the audience calling out for more.
Headliners The Sherlocks walked onto the stage to continued chants of YORKSHIRE this Leeds crowd know where they are and what they like. Hailing from Barnsley the band consisting of 2 pairs of brothers don’t seem to have stopped touring for the past year, promoting their second album, Under your sky, which made up the majority of their set list
They arrived on stage to little introduction and launched into ‘Magic Man’ a fan live favourite that had the crowd singing along almost as loud as the band.
Vocalist Kiaran looked calm and relaxed, and while not as sedate as a statue, he was more inclined to let his words and music do their work. His laid back stance work well, juxtaposed against the high energy movements by the Davidson brothers, Andy and Josh on bass and guitar.
Between songs there is minimal interaction with the crowd, the young audience seem hungry for the next song, a couple of words seemingly enough for them before the music starts up again.
But before NYC (sing it out loud) he dedicates the song to his Grandad and this is one of the standout songs of the night. Played lived, this track has more energy than on the album and could be mistaken for late era Stiff little fingers or Buzzcocks. It’s a track that would feel as at home in an arena as it would in your car, it really shows the skill and maturity in their song writing.
Neatly rounding the set off with Chasing shadows, a big song that deserves to be at the end, while cheesy to some, if you have a song full of crowd friendly Woah-oh-oh oh’s in its chorus, this was guaranteed to send the crowd home cheering!
In the nearly 25 years I’ve been watching bands at the O2, or the town and country club for the more senior of us, it’s not very often I’ve seen the venue so full, and with an audience so alive from the first support act.
In a few years this band with just 2 albums, have developed a large and loyal fan base, and tonight they showed exactly why.
A range of catchy well written songs, putting out a full setlist without any songs sounding “samey” or “filler” in between a lucky one hit wonder. I doubt it’s the last time they’ll be selling out in Leeds, but with the rest of the world out there waiting, it might be a while before they find time to get back!
NYC (sing it out loud)
Time to go
Will you be there?
Was it really worth it?
I want it all
Under your sky
Live for the moment
WORDS & PHOTOS - JOHN MCEVOY
It’s not often Hollywood arrives in Leeds on a chilly Sunday night, but tonight was warmed up nicely by the Kiefer Sutherland who delivered a consummate set at the Stylus on his current UK tour following the release of his last album ‘Reckless & Me’ from April 2019.
Of course, most people know Sutherland as one of the biggest TV actors in the world with works such as 24 and Designated Survivor on his CV. However lately his movie career seems to have taken a bit of a back seat, and music seems to be his main interest at the moment. And it would be fair to say that based on tonight’s performance, he’s actually pretty damned good at it.
From the opening bars of ‘Can’t Stay Away’ this near capacity crowd welcomed Kiefer Sutherland and it was clear from his reaction that he was enjoying every minute of it.
He mentioned that this was his first visit to Leeds, and he seemed genuinely touched that so many people had turned out to see him perform. His inter song stories and banter endeared him to the audience and he’s clearly had/having an interesting life, which includes being a rodeo rider for a while back in the 90’s.
His slightly raspy voice clearly owes a lot to a lifetime of drinking what seems to be his favourite drink, whisky, and whilst providing inspiration for many of his songs, has also landed him in trouble from time to time over the years!
I know that many in tonight’s audience were there simply to see a Hollywood actor, but I’m fairly sure that they would have been pleasantly surprised at just how good he and the band really are on stage.
His Americana/Country style is an effective blend, and throughout the set he reminded me a little of Bruce Springsteen (A compliment!) and ‘Something You Love’ was a perfect example of this.
The epic ‘Open Road’ was a real highlight of his set, with its slow opening bars which morphs into a full country/rock workout with Sutherlands quality vocals there for all to see and hear.
As we know, many actors have tried to make the transition to music, often with disastrous results, but from tonight’s set, music is clearly an integral part of Kiefer Sutherland soul, and I suspect it would be hard call for him if he had to choose between acting and writing/performing with his band.
All I can say is that if the opportunity arises to go along and see him play, even if you only know him as an actor, take the opportunity. I’m fairly sure you will be pleasantly surprised, and in the meantime check out his last two albums, ‘Down In A Hole’ and ‘Reckless & Me’ to hear for yourselves what the fuss is all about.
By the way Kiefer, if you’re reading this, is there any chance of season 4 of ‘Designated Survivor’ please!!
Can’t Stay Away
Something You Love
Reckless & Me
Blame It On Your Heart
Ways To Be Wicked
I’ll Do Anything
This Is How It’s Done
All She Wrote
Down In A Hole