Gig Review by Andrew Lindsay with Photography by John Bentley

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

In spite of being a last minute addition opening act Lewsberg turned in a very impressive performance. A four piece band from Rotterdam they excel on the instrumental passages with the twin guitarists – Arie Van Vliet and Michiel Klein interchanging lines, particularly effectively on ‘The Smile’. The rhythm section are rock solid and drive the performance; bassist Shalita Dietrich centre stage, dancing barefoot. Van Vliet sings in English – in a style reminiscent of Lou Reed’s nonchalant drawl – although the literary lyrics tend to get lost in the mix (they sound just fine on the eponymous debut album). ‘Chances’ shakes things up with Klein’s guitar creating all manner of unholy sounds.

Lewsberg Brudenell Social Club Leeds

Just prior to the closing number Van Vliet, in a rare moment of dialogue, announces that the band have no place to sleep and appeals for a place to shelter for the night. Happily the spirit of the rock & roll lifestyle is alive and well at the Brudenell and the prayer is quickly answered.

Setlist: Terrible; Glass; The Smile; Carried Away; Edith; Non-Fiction Writer; Chances; Benefit of the Doubt

Lewsberg Brudenell Social Club Leeds

Sound issues lead to a lengthy set up for Girl Sweat – the solo vehicle for Leeds based artist Russell Gray. Deeply experimental, the theatrical performance consists of much screaming and wailing over pre-recorded bass, casio drums and noise loops. “Drugged out noise swirling through the garage spectrum” it is quite a racket and not for the faint hearted. Much to their credit most of the audience stay with it but this is light years away from the more conventional sounds of The Limiñanas and Lewsberg. Interesting, challenging but lacking hooks and melody so not my cup of tea.

Girl Sweat Brudenell Social Club Leeds

Girl Sweat Brudenell Social Club Leeds

The headliners take the stage (the opening acts played on the floor below) shortly before 10.30pm. Based in Perpignan, The Limiñanas’ core comprise ‘forty-somethings’ Marie and husband Lionel Limiñana. Recording since 2010 they recently released their fifth album ‘Shadow People’, produced by Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

Oozing confidence and professionalism and why not be clichéd about it? – oodles of Gallic chic – they kick off with a surf-inspired instrumental, ‘Ouverture’. Seven musicians are crammed on the tiny stage and they run the gamut of sounds from pop to psychedelic garage with all four guitarists blasting out in unison. Drummer Marie Limiñana on her minimalist kit and strapped down tambourine (no cymbals) creates much of the overall vibe but despite the wealth of instruments on stage the numbers begin to blur into one another.

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

The encores are distinctive and fun. Just three of the band return for the Syd Barrett-ish ‘Pink Flamingos ‘ – written by Lionel when he was in high school but only just recorded for the new album. Stripped down and whimsical it adds a refreshing light and shade to the set. The rest of the band join for the excellent ‘Russian Roulette’- a poppy number that swings and features a lovely breathy vocal. The evening climaxes with the old chestnut ‘Gloria’ which is a lovely way to finish because at least the audience know all the words and are delighted to join in.

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

Setlist: Ouverture; Malamore; Down Underground; Prisunic; Tigre du Bengal; Dimanche; The Gift; Funeral Baby; Crank; Garden of Love; AF3458; Istanbul Is Sleepy; Shadow People; One of Us; Stellar Star; Can; Betty & Johnny. Encore: Pink Flamingos; Russian Roulette; Angels & Devils; Gloria

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

The Luminanas Brudenell Social Club Leeds

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