Posts Tagged ‘Party Hardly’

Christopher Nosnibor

I could easily harp at considerable length about the rather disappointing attendance, noting that Man of Moon have received considerable exposure in recent months by way of a tour supporting fellow Scots The Twilight Sad (which is how I came to discover them, and I note singer / guitarist Chris Bainbridge is sporting a Twlight Sad T-shirt on stage) and a fair bit of airplay on 6Music. Another city, another night, you might blame apathy, but Leeds on a Friday night is not apathetic, even when it’s Good Friday and the students are away and people are on holiday. And it would be wrong to blame the band. This is simply what happens when you’ve got Laetitia Sadier playing across town, as well as headline sets from Department M, Sunset Sons, The Stranglers, Lower Slaughter supported by Workin Man Noise Unit, and, perhaps not so much, Eddi Reader and almost a dozen other little gigs. The point is, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once, and being spoiled for choice can have its downsides.

No regrets about my choice, though. Arriving a song or two into Treeboy & Arc’s set, initially, I’m largely indifferent to what appears to be just another college band who’ve brought some daft mates along for the beer and some silly dancing. But they’ve got overtones of early Psychedelic Furs, not just on account of the tom-centric drumming, which works well, but the guitar sound, heavy on chorus with a brittle, metallic flangey sound. It all amounts to an above average take on indie with an 80s alt / post punk vibe (a dash of Echo & the Bunnymen, perhaps). They’re sounding good and by the end of the set, they’ve won me over.

Party Hardly won me over when I caught them in February, alongside Post war Glamour Girls supporting Fizzy Blood for their single launch. I’m not saying I’d rush out to buy their music or actively listen to it at home, but they’re a more than passable live act whose competent indie rock stylings hint at The Smiths filtered through a 90s reimagining. With positive vibes, good energy and some strong, hooky songs, there’s not a lot to dislike here.

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Party Hardly

With a brace of dates south of the border (Manchester and Leeds) ahead of a more extensive tour in support of their ‘Medicine’ EP, released in May, Man of Moon are still in the position of a band building a live following. But if they’re disappointed by the size of the crowd, they don’t show it, and the duo put on a proper show.

The set starts with a Suicide throb before exploding into thunderous krautrock at 100 decibels. Between songs, they’re pretty unassuming, but the duo have seemingly grown in confidence and sonic stature as they build some heavy psychedelic grooves – think Black Angels on speed –over the course of their 45-minute set.

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Man of Moon

Mikey Reid has an unusual drumming style: sitting with his stool raised high over his minimal drum kit – a combination of acoustic drums with a huge splash cymbal and an electronic pad set – he’s tight and plays with an attention to nuance, adding a strong dynamic to the songs. Meanwhile, Chris Bainbridge’s guitar style is geared toward a layered, textural sound that really defines Man of Moon.

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Man of Moon

Tonight’s outing reaffirms that they’re a quality act with an evolving repertoire. They’ve also clearly got the grit, the determination and the professionalism to build a substantial cult following. And when they do, I probably will say ‘I told you so’.

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Christopher Nosnibor

 

Fizzy Blood are either crazy, or they’ve got some serious chops. No, I’m not talking about having a single launch event on a Thursday night in a tiny venue next door to the O2 Academy on the same night Twenty One Pilots to a sell-out crowd; I’m talking about having Post War Glamour Girls as a support band, which is the reason I’m here. Not that Party Hardly are bad; they knock out some decent post-punk-tinged indie rock tunes, with some sinewy guitars, a few tidy minor chord sequences and a handful of grungey choruses, all driven along by a chunky bass sound. But no-one’s really here for them.

Post War Glamour Girls are a law unto themselves. Any other band who released a superlative second album in the last six months would be plugging the shit out of it at every opportunity, and touring it into the ground. But not this perverse bunch. They’re using the slot to premiere an entire set’s worth of new and unreleased material, and anything could happen.

Offstage, they’re as unassuming as you like. Onstage, they’re something special, with a chemistry that’s rare. James Anthony Smith is twitchy and tense, and keeps his coat on: it illustrates the point that he’s not stopping, with a 30-minute set lined up, and that’s yer lot, son. They look as cool as fuck, Smith’s tan shoes notwithstanding, and they sound even better.

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Post War Glamour Girls

Opening track ‘Guiding Light’ builds a heavy psychedelic drone in the vein of Black Angels, albeit crossed with The Fall, not least of all on account of Smith’s drawling vocals. At this point, my notes get a bit sketchy – but there’s a track called ‘Organ Donor’, which is ace. James Thorpe-James dominates the stage as he wields his guitar dangerously, while Alice Scott stays rooted to the spot while churning out relentlessly stonking basslines. Even though there are moments of the set where they seem a little uncoordinated, Post War Glamour Girls still piss on 95% of the bands you’re likely to see live, and the early indications are that album number three will be the best one yet.

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Post War Glamour Girls

Given the uphill struggle they’ve set themselves, Fizzy Blood do good. They may have a chubby front man with bad tats and a greasy quiff, an overtly narcissistic string bean of a guitarist, and a gnome-like bassist who pulls the worst guppy-faces I’ve seen in a long time, but they’ve got some songs and a real energy that makes them a worthwhile live act. Elements of grunge and stoner rock ride high in the mix and they crank out the riffs, sometimes with as many as three guitars hammering it out, there’s as much whiff of Pulled Apart by Horses as their in Nirvana to their guitar-driven set, and it’s fair to say they sound considerably better than they look.

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Fizzy Blood

The single they’re launching tonight, ‘Sweat and Sulphur’, is definitely a highlight during a powerhouse set that justifies the respectable turnout: it seems not everyone was here just for Post War Glamour Girls, and that Fizzy Blood have – deservedly – started building themselves a following in their own right. It would be nice to see this release kicking off some real momentum.

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Fizzy Blood