The Handsome Family Husband and wife duo Rennie and Brett Sparks have been performing as The Handsome Family since the mid-1990s and have a string of critically acclaimed albums under their belts. Currently based in New Mexico in the USA their style might be described as something like gothic alt-country noir. Their songs frequently focus on the dark side of life, with death, madness and general strangeness emerging as subjects time and time again. However, their unsettling lyrics are delivered set to gorgeous timeless tunes and, particularly live, with a wicked sense of humour. The current UK tour is centred on a performance of their classic 1998 album ‘Through the Trees’, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.


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The Handsome Family Nowadays country music is a pretty broad genre and, since around the time of Gram Parsons, mutated versions, often dubbed ‘alternative country’ and ‘Americana’, have proliferated. A band with a very quirky take on alt-country are The Handsome Family, who offer a rather unique Gothic country-noire flavour. They’ve performed in Leeds on several past occasions and this time it’s at the palatial, by rock music standards, Irish Centre. The gig is in the posh Tara Suite, laid out with tables and chairs for the comfort of punters.


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