June 29th, 2007

A Dark Mood More

BD1 LiVE Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Friday, June 29th, 2007

I Like Trains, Falconetti, Worried About Satan, Laboratory Noise BD1 Live at St George's Hall, Bradford

There is something unsettling about the end of an evening of what is ill described as mood music night at BD1 Live at Bradford St George's Hall and when I Like Trains finish the set of swirling pulsing extracts from some dark movie you would watch with the curtains drawn there is appreciation rather than an explosion. Atmosphere and foreboding is the order of the day and all assembled are sunk into it.

Laboratory Noise open the second BD1 Live night and fill the stage with compass points of guitars and a bouncing Bass in the middle. The most melodic of the four bands on tonight they make the most of the venue with a rich sound that fills the room. At one point between songs they stop and take in the surroundings - the grand hall and all - and play on comfortably and seemingly at home.

As a band LabNoise improve with familiarity. The layer of early impenetrability pushed through they offer a warmth experience.

Colder and more spiky are Worried About Satan who in soundtrack terms are something that John Carpenter would use at the height of suspense and stretched over twenty minutes hurt the brain. Two guys, one computer and some guitars they are well received by some but mystifying to others. Mogwai are an easy comparison which would put Worried About Satan into the category of post-rock and perhaps I'm dragging my knuckles but I'm still in rock.

Much is expected of Theme to German Spy Thrillers Falconetti who build a rhythm impressively but are on too briefly as they build the swirl around the room commanding an audience that sport more than the usual amount of facial hair, nodding rather than moving, appreciation rather than enjoyment. Everything is very grown up or at least post-teenage angst.

Falconetti's set goes high but ends up short and another ten minutes would not have gone amiss. They are replaced on stage rapidly by I Like Trains who add the Leeds slick to the night pitching just past Tindersticks and onto rougher ground. They are dour but it is a dour that fits the mood with Dave Martin's notes to audience hint at a maturity of the band appreciated by aficionados. They do what they do well and finish the night pushing all assembled out in the darkened streets of Bradford with a heighten sense of paranoia. I Like Trains are the sound of a strange lurking around the corner. They are an atmosphere more than an album, a dark mood but not a bad one.

Written By Michael Wood Friday, June 29th, 2007

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June 13th, 2007

William Sanderson of Le Tournoi – Five Box Set #1 More

Five Box Set

Written By Michael Wood Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

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Five Box Set - West Yorkshire Music People Talk About Their Favourite Albums

Along with any number of brothers, sisters and associates William Sanderson's Le Tournoi impress with thoughtful and curiously amusing songs described by some as Modern Folk, others as Joy Division-esque and most as impressive.

William's three favourite albums

This question is next to impossible to answer because I know my answer tomorrow would probably be completely different. I'll try and go with obvious ones.

Jens Lekman - self released EP Four perfect songs: Tram #7 to heaven, Maple Leaves, Black Cab, At The Dept. of Forgotten Songs. Each individual song has more character than most entire albums. Words don't do justice to "shit" good.

The Shins - Oh Inverted World This album is pop rock perfection. With many albums there are obvious weak aspects but here its 100% "Why couldn't I have written that, the brilliant bar-raising motherfuckers".

The lyrics are layered with metaphors and wordplay without seeming pompous. The melodies are beautiful and despite playing this record over and over and over again, I am yet to get the slightest bit bored with a single track. To top things off it was recorded with a 70 quid microphone. Damn them, damn them.

Jay-Z - Blueprint An album with one theme, how good Jay-Z is. It's so pretentious it's not pretentious anymore.

William's favourite on the scene

Laura Groves and Fourteen Corners are pretty darn great. Neither have an album out yet, but I have the majority of their songs on mp3. I don't want to hear their albums because I want to hear higher quality recordings of their songs, but because I want them to take the attention away from the masses of signed bands that aren't as good.

I generally only like bands I am friends with - hahaha - it's a terrible habit that I have no plans on shaking.

I also have an unhealthy, mostly unwarranted, hatred for anything to do with the city of Leeds. So if a band is from there or does that horribly comical thing of pretending they are from there I struggle to give them chance.

William on "The Best Album Ever"

Queen - Greatest Hits II A party isn't a party without it. It's a Hard Life, Under Pressure oh yes! Not even Innuendo can spoil the party.

Written By Michael Wood Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

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June 12th, 2007

William Sanderson of Le Tournoi – This Is Cinerama #1 More

This Is Cinerama

Written By Michael Wood Tuesday, June 12th, 2007


This Is Cinerama - West Yorkshire Music People Talk About Their Favourite Movies

Along with any number of brothers, sisters and associates William Sanderson's Le Tournoi impress with thoughtful and curiously amusing songs described by some as Modern Folk, others as Joy Division-esque and most as impressive.

William's three favourite movies

Dolemite Honky destroying lover man, overweight and not very good at kung-fu.

With lines like "if you ever see a ghost, cut the motherfucker". This film is terrible. Ha Ha. For the last forty minutes of this film it's impossible to know exactly what's going on.

Casablanca This film is quite the opposite of Dolemite, in the sense that it's really good.

Dolemite 2: The Human Tornado For the same reasons as number one. This one features the "unforgettable apple scene" where Dolemite, upon arriving in California buys an apple and through the medium of voice over we are allowed into the mind of Dolemite to see what he's thinking:

I hope the girls in California are as good as this apple

Never has a single sentence summed up someone so perfectly before (I'm violently exaggerating).

William in the movies

I empathise with the "Hamburger Pimp" from the first Dolemite. He died before we ever got to know him.

I also have a lot of empathy for James Bond. That's not true. I have a lot of time for Chris in the Sopranos. That most definitely is true.

William Sanderson: The bio-pic

It would be an art house film where not a great deal of things happen, probably called "That Didn't Happen, Did It?"

My dog Meg could play herself, she's acted before and she's pretty good. I'd like to be all CGI apart from my mouth. Charles Bronson to direct through the medium of Ouija board.

Written By Michael Wood Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

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June 8th, 2007

The One That Ends Happy More

Granadaland Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Friday, June 8th, 2007

The Lodger, Laura Groves, Le Tournoi Granadaland at The Love Apple, Bradford

I'll ruin the surprise ending: This one ends happily.

If you ever read Dalliance before you will know how convinced I am to the Laura Groves cause, that I think Le Tournoi have something about them and how impressive The Lodger were supporting The Long Blondes earlier this year.

All three on one bill, on a sunny evening, after a day off, at The Love Apple, on a night named after a Wedding Present song. I'll ruin the surprise: This one ends happily.

Something seems to have happened with Le Tournoi who open the evening sans trumpet section but with more of a controlled presence than they have shown previously. The word polish is thankfully never to be applied to the joie de vivre that the Bradford four piece bring to the stage. Where previously Le Tournoi were an explosion of raw ideas now they are showing signs of focus.

Trees early in the set starts a tempo which is maintains as they bash through a collection of ninety seconds songs that are rapidly fitting together into a rather impressive package. Christmas Eve and I Was A Victim Of A Series Of Accidents, As Are We All regretfully fall from the set but perhaps as a result everything is tighter and everything works.

Vocals and guitar William Sanderson carrys on an easy charm joking with the front rows of an unusually full Love Apple looking every inch nerd cool in contrast to the prim prom dress of keyboards and vocals Emilie who offs heels to perform and sturdy Rob on Bass. Le Tournoi are jagged pieces put together into strange and interesting shapes.

These shapes press though into the lyrics - "And when the night begins/The moon will illuminate everything/The trees are closing in/Or So It seems" entertains with lyrical painting using darker palette colours. Some Murder Perhaps offers "Hopes dashed anew everyday/I'm reading the paper to find something new and refreshing/Some murder perhaps". Le Tournoi are short spiky songs about interesting things and dubbed Modern Folk meets Joy Division but my interest is sparked with comparisons escape me and when to finish the set off William embarks on six or seven cords of almost Hendrix-esque guitarmanship - or at least some kind of twang based heroics which was hitherto not hinted at - then I give up searching for something to complete my "Folk done by The Ramones" observations and join the hurrahs.

What can I say about Laura Groves which I have not before? A set that I never tire of, a voice that belays her size and so on and soon one is going towards words like Elfin which I steadfastly refuse to use.

Tonight was the first time Groves has stamped my hand on the way in and the first outing for new song Does Anyone Love Me Now which sits alongside the delights of Coast, Imaginary Flights and Can't Sleep which all blend through the darkening night air. She mentions that Bridges which appears on on anti-torture compilation Fifty Minutes and gives that a plug so I shall too.

Any plaudits that come her way she is worth.

Granadaland's twilight zone comes when the local heroes finish. The Lodger face the often apathetic and frequently far off rows of The Love Apple with a confidence. The Lodger have been playing venues like this for two or three too many years and have seen a couple of bands with a couple of less pints of talent go a bit further. Put this down to the fact that the stompalongs that populate the sets of Leeds lad rock peers like Kaiser Chiefs and The Cribs are replaced by an intelligent set of pop songs that fit perfectly with vocal and guitar Ben Siddall's roots as a bedsit musician.

Without wanting to shortcut the process Siddall is Morrissey and Marr. He is a guy who can write a bittersweet romantic lyric like "Our parents will stay together/And our last dance will last forever." and play then play the jangling Strangeway Here We Come guitar to go with it.

Unsatisfied is all urban paranoia and alternation with a fading melodic lilt, Kicking Sand is melancholic resignation to a furious pop beat. The drummer Katie seems to be - well - older and more of a bloke than last time. Joe The Bass has two go faster stripes on his guitar which may or may not be ironic but see him keep the pace fast with his plucking. It is very impressive to people of a certain disposition.

Those people would seem to be out in reasonable force and The Lodger maintain a healthy focus from the often drifting Love Apple audience. "I never thought I'd say this," Siddall comments, "But could you come forward a step or two."

And people do which is always a good sign and a guy in a Clash t-shirt goes crazy in all the right places and Siddall's guitar drives the self-effacing lyrics on. Stand out track comes at the conclusion of the set after the plug for long time gestated album Grown Ups in Many Thanks For Your Honest Opinion which paces through the most Smithsian chorus since 1987 and The Lodger leave a room impressed.

Me, I'm happy.

Written By Michael Wood Friday, June 8th, 2007

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May 26th, 2007

A Good Idea On Paper or Otherwise More

BD1 LiVE Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Duels, Laura Groves, Monty Casino BD1 Live at St George's Hall, Bradford

On paper BD1 LiVE is a good idea. Take some local bands and singers, throw in a bit of polish from Leeds, put them on at a fine old fashioned venue and the Bradford Music Scene has it's first official happening. Sounds like a great idea on paper.

That idea come out of mono - spiritual home of anything one can swing hips to in Bradford - and Granadaland the purveyor's of the region's finest music nights and for sure both are great in the Love Apple on a Friday night but this is bigger time - this is St George's Hall and these walls have seen Depeche Mode on the 101 tour, seen Morrissey belting out Sheila Take A Bow and for on a Saturday afternoon for twenty years they saw Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy wrestling it out. On paper must have seemed a good - but ambitious - idea. Throw in an early start time and last bus home finish time and it must have seemed like a good idea on paper.

Wandering up to ramp to the oft overlooked venue and there is a slight tingling - if not buzz of excitement then a flickering of ambition. The halls of St George's are not often trod by so many pairs of Converse All Stars but by the time Monty Casino come on the hall is nicely filled with enthusiasts admiring the curiosity of Bradford's fresh faces shambleists and complaining that the beer is no match for the Love Apple's.

Of course Monty Casino are a shambles in the finest possible way. The make good use of the self applied tag of experimental with a scratched out guitar mix of agitpop songs about obscurities. Lead singer Patrick does not want to fill the stage but stands looking sore thumb in the middle with bassist on his left and the open space on the right. It fits nicely as does the lack of polish to the nth degree that comes between each two minute thrashed out spike of pop.

And such spikes. Tour De France is about the cycle race, Gorbachev about the middle man of Russian history. "I don't know if anyone studies history but this song is about the man who shot Franz Ferdinand and caused the first World War, Gavrilo Princip", he says to an enthrallingly bemused audience, "and I wrote a song about him."

It probably takes thirty seconds for your mind to decide on Monty Casino and you probably either are prepared to proclaim them as genuine angry pop terrorists - bastard sons of The Jam and The Fall - or they are a bunch of kids on stage having had three years of history lessons and three years of music and got the two mixed up. Personally after thirty-one seconds I was sold. Monty Casino are one of the most curiously interesting bands I've ever seen and more power to them. Hopefully they will never lose the beautiful lack of cynicism that marks out their songs. They are smart and angry and a unapologetic and that is great.

Smart in a different way is Laura Groves. She has put a posh frock on and wanders onto a stage which is bigger than the footprint of Fagin's Bar in Halifax where first I became convinced on the Shipley songstress and stands in the middle with guitar around neck taking a deep breath and looking out on what must have very suddenly seemed like something while a good idea on paper. Slowly her fingers start to pick opening notes of I Am Leaving and the figure in the centre of the stage grows and every word rings as clear as a bell and swirls around the Hall mingling with the grandiose ceiling and all the history that that entails and each note is flying around and gliding between couples inching closer together and inhabiting the stalls and they circles back and returns to a single figure on stage who closes and opportune to the microphone. "I feel so small."

Laura Groves has never sounded so good. Each pick is heartstrung and each lyric draw in sharp contrasts and I am struck with how easily dismissed girl singers singing pretty songs can be and how harsh that would be on someone who can and did write "God knows, I want to write a love song/You asked so nicely for one/I promise I will do one/Before too long" and then by the depth of Laura Groves's palette. Not black and white, not subtle shades or pastel colours. A rich and deep palette.

Coast's lingering images of ships in storms is vivid and Bridges is a passion played out as Groves switches between guitar and keyboard and it seemed that the good idea on paper is just a good idea. I have heard this set a half dozen times but never this fitting, never this paradisiac, never this good.

Imaginary Flights is a fitting - and moving - final song and the applause is as genuine as the emotion. She lingers on stage and almost prepares a bow but instead dodges shyly behind the drapes for an excited hug.

Duels are an altogether more practiced affair than this Bradford Music Scene is used to. They mix new with old and the latter sounds quirky and inquisitive and really rather interesting while the former is a bit more on the Arcade Fire that is music in 2007. They slide easily into a rapport with the audience - no mean feat - and entertain without enthralling. Potential Futures stands out and the slowed down guitar and backing vocals that singer Jim Foulger and the returning Laura Groves enjoy is a smart move.

If This Car Should Crash shows a darker edge and they justify top slot and are an object lesson showing the hosts of bands coming from this side of Pudsey how the rigours of the Leeds circuit require a more slick edge.

So in time for the last bus for some who need it the first BD1 LiVE draws to a close and it all seems to have been a very good idea on paper or otherwise.

Written By Michael Wood Saturday, May 26th, 2007

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