Broken Books

Sometimes There Is Something┬áMissing More

Dog On Wheels Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Friday, April 27th, 2007

The Tendertrap, (Most of) fourteencorners, Broken Books Dog On Wheels at The Love Apple, Bradford

Sometimes in life there is something missing. Tonight at Dog On Wheels's last Thursday of the month at the Love Apple everything has something absent. Leeds folkster(s) Broken Books seemed to be missing a band being only Paul Fenwick on stage with his acoustic knocking out tunes from his soul via is ironic bone. His lilting picked melodies find a way through the first band conversation and but for a little more stage presence he could have impressed more. Does he have a face someone comments at Fenwick's heads down set which could speak louder.

Nevertheless everything about Fenwick aspires to excellence and his set is almost reminiscent of something but always sits firmly next to Badly Drawn Boy which is no bad thing although a little out of time. Flowers is pleasing and Standing Here effective and while it is all a bit 2000 it is the nicer parts of 2000.

It is not especially hard to see what is lacking from fourteencorners tonight as Luke Silcock and Josh Taylor sit middle stage with acoustic guitars and a drummer but lacking bassist Marco. He is, erm, not here. Josh mumbles.

Perhaps we should have all been expecting a shambles - certainly the band's guitarist Luke apologises enough times - but a stripped down fourteencorners still shines. The beat dropped out to James Stock's drum Luke's furious finger picking takes centre stage and West Yorkshire's second most frantic guitarist sits and plays - and really plays - and they shine.

Tsotsumi is raked over strings and a word fumble in New Limbs Songs For Old Flames is deftly moved over with a wry smile and a chuckle. The Walk Home needs the thud that Marco's bass normally provides but We Are Pathetic! We Are Stars! is plucked to a kind of lazy perfection. When this band move further afield than West Yorkshire someone will have to make a new lexicon to describe how good they are cause the old adjectives are getting used up.

A new song sounds superb and Small Northern Town is followed by more apologies. We are normally a four piece, we are normally good. The reputation will outstrip the modesty one day.

Leeds mellow five piece The Tendertrap turn up twice in Bradford in the next month and have generated something of a buzz for their mellowed out tunes and boy/girl vocal stylings. Dubbed Arcade Fire Lite by those being nice - Keane Liter by others - they kick off with Burn The House Down shows flares of wonderful imagination. Nicely stripped down to essentials Danny's vocal is bare and honest with Aimee's opportuning adding a depth to the song. "In this down and house/ambition bursts through the seams" offers Danny, "Send me a match with your letter/so I can burn the house down" Aimee interjects.

It is deep without being forced and everything is good but they go on and after a time it seems that they lack the same spark. Everything comes over as having the ambition to be a Coldplay album track. Everything is too soft pedaled. Everything is too lightly done. Scars On 45 briefly raises the mood but the cover of Eurodance "classic" Mr Vain tries to be witty and ironic but comes over as smug and arrogant. Culture Beat where no one heres idea of a good band but I'm left wishing that The Tendertraps had a per cent of the vigour and fun of the German nonsense they snidely reference.

What is missing from The Tendertraps is a sense of enjoyment, Broken Books miss a band but that is fine, fourteencorners are never to be missed - not even tonight.

An early start means an early finish before Shady Bard come on. They sound good enough through the wall but what is missing then is me.