Mercury Rev Mercury Rev are currently on a short UK tour and this is the first of two sold-out nights at Leeds Brudenell Social Club. It’s a rather special tour celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their brilliant breakthrough album, ‘Deserter’s Songs’. What’s more they’ve dispensed with their trademark big band presentation and the tour promises a stripped-down and very personal performance of the album. There have been some great reviews of the tour and it’s a gig I’m really looking forward to.


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Madness And so to Madness... I say and so to Madness as I managed to miss The Fratellis and so I will, dear reader, have to leave it at that. I was however in good time for the headliner and so managed something I have never achieved before, namely to see the Nutty Boys in all their glory! And what glory, but more of that later perhaps.


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Ocean Colour Scene A rainy Wednesday night saw the Ocean Colour Scene and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas provide Christmas cheer on their tour which is covering all points of the UK. A few people had wondered why a Motown legend was on the same bill as a band that were in the vanguard of the Britpop era of the late 90’s. But I have to say that it was a glorious clash of musical styles that worked a treat, and was well received by the large crowd in Leeds.


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Sunflower Bean Self-assured visionary American girls in rock music, there’s an endless supply of them at The Wardrobe in Leeds on a Tuesday night. Jesse Jo Stark, Miya Folick and the incomparable Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean all hugely impress on only the 2nd date of this UK tour.


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St. Paul & The Broken Bones Birmingham Alabama Soul comes to Leeds and Saint Paul Janeway preaches to the converted. St. Paul & The Broken Bones live at the Irish Centre. This gig was supposed to be at The Brudenell, then I saw it advertised as the O2 Academy, eventually we are advised that it has been moved to the Irish Centre, which is exactly where I saw St Paul & the Broken Bones 2 years ago. Inside, this place resembles a large working men’s club with two levels and a handful of seats spread along the walls. It probably hasn’t changed much in 30 years and tonight it will play host to some slick blues and funky soul, some of the best and authentic southern American soul you will see this side of Otis Redding.


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Pip Blom Well, this place is a real surprise. If you were one to use generic stereotypes you would think you had hit Hipster central. In fact, this is just a really nice place that serves their own beer and happens to have the fabulous Pip Blom in the cellar. Not tied up down there, just playing their fabulous music. Yes, the Hyde Park Book Club does have books, but it also has a lot of music fans and I reckon tonight would be like the rest of their tour - SOLD OUT!


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Neko Case It’s a privilege to catch talented American singer-songwriter Neko Case at her sold-out Leeds gig, one of only two UK dates on the current tour. Neko Case has certainly led a life in music, as a solo artist, as a member of several bands (notably The New Pornographers) and also as a serial collaborator (The Sadies, The Corn Sisters, Calexico and most recently as a member of ‘supergroup’ Case/Lang/Viers).


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The Blinders On this particular Sunday this is definitely our church. Arguably the finest small venue in the country play host to the force of nature that is The Blinders. It marks the halfway point of their first headline tour on the back of phenomenal debut album ‘Columbia’. That it entered the charts at number 54 is testament to the word of mouth buzz that this Doncaster trio have been creating over the last few years.


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Glenn Tilbrook As Glenn Tilbrook says in his promotion for this tour, "It’s shameful that in the 21st century people can’t afford to put food on the table". This tour is intended to raise awareness of this sad situation and all proceeds from his 4 track EP and merchandise are being given to The Trussell Trust, who are working hard to try and make life better for a lot of people. His tour is currently covering the length and breadth of the UK and runs right through to April 2019. Full details of forthcoming dates are here.


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Maribou State On an unusually warm autumnal Friday night it was a chance to catch critically acclaimed Maribou State on their current tour to promote their new album and EP which were released earlier this year.


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Tom Grennan It seems like he’s been around for ages but 23 year old Tom Grennan arrived on the scene a little over 2 years ago with his first single ‘Something In The Water’ back in July 2016. Since then he has released a steady stream of singles and EP’s and has built up large and loyal fan base. Initially an acoustic guitarist he has now become an accomplished frontman delivering an Indie/Alt rock sound, and his current tour is to promote his debut album ‘Lighting Matches’ which was released in July of this year.


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Glenn Hughes A year ago in ‘The Church’, a Leeds venue set in... a Church, Glenn Hughes brought his solo tour to Yorkshire, but unbeknown to us at the time when he walked out on stage that night, he had just heard the news that his mother had passed away. It was, to say the least, a very emotional night for Hughes and those lucky enough to be in the room. This hard rocker who has witnessed many ups and downs in his life was significantly reduced in stature by his emotions, but the audience here pulled him through, and he did say that his mother had expressly wished him to go on whenever it happened. That bond has stayed with him for the last 12 months and he now holds Leeds as a very special place, this time though he’s not at the Church, he is further down the road in the University Union and the Stylus bar for his Deep Purple tour.


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Goat Girl Goat Girl are a young all-female band from South London who have real attitude and write great songs. Their debut album, released last April, contains 19 short (most under 3 minutes), diverse and punchy songs and has received great reviews and radio play. The Brudenell is sold-out tonight for the Leeds stop on the band’s extensive tour. Goat Girl are really working hard at gigging: earlier this year I saw them in Montreal during their tour of North America supporting Parquet Courts. They were very well received by the Canadian audience and are making new friends wherever they play.


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St. Vincent Watching a St. Vincent show is what it is to witness a creative mind expressing itself in the most beautiful way. A performance that’s all about the performance with everything from the music, the pulsating lights and the hypnotic video projections all working together in harmony with one thing in mind - to make you feel sexy.


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