Here Come The Letters
Written By Michael Wood Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
The Letters, The Last Ones Indie Schmindie at The Love Apple, Bradford
“Bradford,” she said “is too music what L.A. is to the movies. Everyone is either in a band, starting a band or getting involved in bands.”
In the last two or three years Bradford’s music scene has changed beyond recognition as much of that change has come in some way from this small bar with a room that is The Love Apple and the people who populate it. Tonight they give local bands the route forward towards the BD1 Live and Granadaland nights that - if this week’s NME coverage of Saturday’s Make Model gig is an indication of – are beginning to get noticed.
Not that one would imagine that The Last Ones are going to advance much further than wet Wednesday nights in Bradford coming over as they do as a Oasis tribute band who do not know any Oasis songs and while Beccy Stubb’s bass drifted into Stone Roses territory too often Robin Stern’s vocal snarl is more of a purr and a rough purr at that.
Wake Up shows some promise but the band need to find their own sound rather than pilfering sp wholesale through the early 1990s Manchester scene for inspiration. The better bands of whatever scene there is in Bradford are lofty because – in this writer’s humble opinion – they create music across genre but definitely from Bradford.
The Letters emerge as a fine example of this. This is the third gig for the band build from bits of seniors of Bradford indie Green but confidence and heldover experience are a combination to drive any performance and tonight is smooth and entertaining.
Kelly Heaton’s low key vocal through Atomic layers onto some impressive guitar work by Leon Carroll – the band have three covers and six original songs as they build a setlist – augmenting Kev Pryke’s bass and Rob Mills’ sterling work on the drums but it is in their own material where the band’s distinctive mix of fuzzed up, fast tempo, treble high guitaring begins to shine. Just Remember is C86 with added Jesus & Mary Chain and stands out.
The stand at ease on stage with Rob swapping quips with the audience from behind his kit and hearing a shout of “ten a penny” but in truth immediately arresting and entertaining bands are rare and as Leon’s tweaking of guitar buzzes along Kelly’s vocals the decent Wednesday night crowd smiles and enjoys.
The Letters are likeable and liked. Green ploughed lonely furrows in Bradford’s music scene but hardly got past venues such as this. One suspect The Letters will find more followers in the flourishing, well tended Bradford music scene of today.