She Keeps Bees
2:54 supporting She Keep Bees at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
She Keeps Bees are going to spend their days as an acquired taste.
Which is not a criticism of Jessica Larrabee and Andy LaPlant's band who combine the starkness of a drum guitar combination with a set of lyrics that talk of a kind of sharp distress which is fascinating but it is because of that snarkness that they will never be a radio favourite, even amongst the sort of people who loved PJ Harvey records who surely must see them as a very close cousin.
The world of She Keeps Bees is a slightly troubling one - at contrast to Jessica's amused banter between songs - but all the better for it. My second visit and the place gets more interesting.
Instantly interesting though are support 2:54. A pair of sisters from London who take their names from their favourite part of a Melvins song they muse onto stage with a thick smoke and set alight the buzz of heavily distorted guitars.
They make a music drenched in itself. Feedback to the point of constant fuzz with a hook or a solo sitting atop the noise and a vocal that weaves in and out of the forest of sound it is impossible to not mention My Bloody Valentine and Blonde Redhead but even on first listen there is so much more going on than a band wearing a reference on its sleeve.
Creeping builds a song by layers, it drills into the head, On A Wire has a woozy, lazy cool about it. Rumour has it this is the band's first set of dates, they return to West Yorkshire for Live At Leeds in May and they are very worth stopping what you are doing to listen.
She Keeps Bees at Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds
A curious thing She Keeps Bees and one which takes some getting used to as they scream clearly and singularly of references to PJ Harvey.
Which is not to criticise Jessica Larrabee's vocals - far from it - or Andy LaPlant's backing but rather to have a scratch of the head as to what direction the band will go in having completed a set of songs which could sit on Rid of Me. They are entertaining for sure but for all the throbbed electric guitar, stripped down percussion and raw vocal the effect is strangely cold.
Like a faked Mona Lisa one is impressed by the technique to achieve it but some how not by the thing itself. All of which risks dismissing She Keeps Bees as if they were a tribute act - they are not - but for this reviewer they trod a path frequently taken before, and I was done with that.
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