Review and photography by Laura Toomer.

One of the most exciting breakthrough bands, Liverpool’s peppy fuzz-pop supremos Clean Cut Kid head to Leeds’  Brundenell Social Club with their own inventive take on anthemic guitar-pop.

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First up on this amazing trio of bands was Callum Beattie, an Edingburgh born star who has been gigging since the age of 13 playing in every venue he can, just to get heard. It’s obvious that Beattie is no stranger to a stage when he walks out at the Brudenell, he is confident, chatty and already has a following that has some of the audience members here to see him tonight. I love listening to Beattie sing as he doesn’t lose his Scottish accent which is most noticeable in his song “Shine on”. “We Are Stars” the lead track from the EP he released in March, definitely got the crowd moving, swaying and singing along. It was also lovely to see him outside in the carpark talking to everyone from the gig, he is genuinely a nice guy who loves playing music.

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Second, we were treated to the Marsicans. A local band from Leeds that aren’t just playing local gigs anymore, they have graced the stages of Leeds festival and Glastonbury over the last 2 years and are getting the recognition they deserve. Their sound is undeniably indie pop and the audience loved it with a large number of them wearing their official merchandise. It’s hard not to love this band, they pour so much energy into their performances. All 4 members take on singing roles at various points that make some really interesting harmonies heard best on their fantastic song “Friends” that they dedicated to Clean Cut Kid stating that they are “the nicest band in the world”. 

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New song “Freya” was a much slower tempo than they usually work at but still kept that pop sound that suits their bouncy persona. It’s not often that the live sound of a band matches what you hear recorded but Marsicans have been around for years and they have perfected and solidified that sound and performing live comes naturally.

It’s not a surprise that tonight was sold out, Clean Cut Kid have played Leeds a few times recently and its always the first city to sell out on every tour… We love these guys! How couldn’t you? Liverpool natives CCK have been dominating the indie pop scene since they formed in 2015 and in May they released their eagerly anticipated debut album “Felt’. The album certainly did not disappoint with infectious melodies and addictive guitar riffs a CCK gig on a Wednesday night is exactly what the doctor ordered.

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Watching this tour will be bittersweet for many of the fans as lead singer Mike says “we are going to disappear for a while, we don’t know how long for but we need to write some new tunes! We can’t keep playing this stuff!” I’m not sure any of us would mind though, not with songs like “We used to be in love” and “Vitamin C” in their arsenal. Both never fail to get every member of the audience up and bouncing around, although nobody bounces quite as much as Mike on lead guitar and vocals who seems to be able to knock out some seriously dazzling guitar solos while bouncing across the stage. Mike is also one of the main writers in the band and writes from the heart, the beautiful “Evelyn” written for his wife who is the keyboard player and singer in the band talking about finding love again. Although Mike takes great pleasure in drawing attention to Evelyn and the fact she is forced to sing her name and about herself every night causing her to hide behind her keyboard in embarrassment.

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One song that stands out in the set is “Brother of Mine”, a unique track that shows another level of raw emotion, spectacular writing skills and incredible guitar playing in a glittering solo from Mike. He introduces it as ” the song in the album where it all went a bit emo.” A number of songs in the “emo” part of the set talks about unrequited love and failed relationships but within the CCK style of indie pop.

In a very hot and sweaty Brudenell Social club the Liverpudlians managed to bring a smile to everyone’s face on a freezing cold Wednesday night. If you haven’t seen them live then you are going to have to wait until they have written some new track and are ready to get out there again but I don’t think it will take long for this group to create more songs that we all want to come and sing to. In the meantime, get a copy of their fabulous album “Felt” and get belting those choruses out.

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