Elle S'appelle, Heads We Dance, fourteencorners, Pierpoint Granadaland at The Love Apple, Bradford
Elle S'appelle are a well beaten track and that is not to say that they are not travelling that path well but rather that for all the new band buzz around them one gets the feeling that you could add their catalogue to your record collection and nod along with it for the rest of your days without ever catching the whiff oforiginality.More later for this is Granadaland and there is an order to things and as Mark Husak expands his night to include out of the area bands he is applauded for retaining a loyalty to the local scene he has sponsored for the past two years.
Pierpoint - named after Albert, the famed hangman of Bradford - are a tight collective of would be post-punk/new wave guitar heroes. They have a decent following already and the dedication they obviously have used to file jagged metal edges into sharp songs is impressive but they are let down by a lead singer who snarls a little too derivatively and ends up coming over like a parody of a pop star. Like an actor playing a would be Libertine. Like the sort of character who could crop up in Emmerdale when a band's tour bus broke down outside the Woolpack.
For tonight would seem to be about originality - or the lack of it - and Pierpoint need to stop hiding behind the cliche of a band and be more honest. When they do I believe they could be really rather interesting.
Honest is the watchword of Fourteencorners who once again pour heart and soul into the six song set they play effortlessly excellently tonight. It is familiar stuff on the whole although Marco and Jim - drum and bass - seem to have filled out the sound of We Are Pathetic! We Are Stars! and the whole set seems beefed up for sure but half way through it strikes one that the problem with Fourteencorners is that as sure as an eleven months pregnant girl - they are ready.
They are ready to go above third place on a bill. They are ready to put out something on a shiny silver disc, They are ready to get reviewed by the NME and the Observer Music Monthly. If they could move between songs live quicker - or get some banter to fill the air - then they would be ready to play much bigger venues with interesting accessible vocals from Josh and guitar work from Luke that still amazes me with it's precise speed. They are ready and if they do not get moving soon they will end up stale and that will be a crime for a band this good. Perhaps they lack the confidence to move on but they certainly lack nothing else.
Confidence can be seen in abundance in Heads We Dance who sport Bryan Ferry raincoats buttoned up to the top and loudly project around the filling Love Apple venue. They mix Eno-esque ambitions with an early Human League sensibility and show no fear of producing - albeit avant-garde - pop tunes. Love Version 15 buzzes along impressively as does Love In The Digital Age and both titles point one towards theirinfluences . One day they will release an album and it will have the words "lipstick" and "neon" in the title no doubt and I will buy it because as a band while their influences are apparent they are not scared to veer wildly away from them and as a result they create some genuinely interesting tunes.
Which leads back to Elle S'appelle who - on another night - one may laud for their tight, modern take on eighties pop mixed with a shot of The Darling Buds but tonight it all seems a little derivative and one is left hoping that they do something more edged, more spiky, with the popularity which is being pushed their way.