White Light Parade

Fractured Pop More

Granadaland Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Monday, November 12th, 2007

Sky Larkin', White Light Parade, Buffalo 77 Granadaland at The Love Apple, Bradford

Sky Larkin' suggest perfect pop. Perhaps it is the lacking a G to remind one of 1980s Video Game classic loopin' or perhaps it is the air of Sarah Records around the band but their name at the top of this evening's Granadaland bill is an indication of type.

On the undercard were to be The Sugars - modern Boo-Wop kids that they are - but like Rooney injury has ruled them out and so the slimmed down bill begins with the pseudo-Americana stylings of Buffalo 77.

Coming from the Midlands Buffalo 77 are a bassless three piece and very pleasantly they aurally harkens back to the early 1990s 4AD doodlings. It is simple and melancholic and all the better for it with the noir three's lead singer Jay Leighton's musing vocal complemented by a twiddlesome keyboard.

The wheel is not reinvented but the motion is good and the three have an impressive presence on stage. Avalanche is the stand out moment closing the set "Mid-October and I'll start it up again/It's not over but it is almost at an end/please, why do you have to say that?" is typical of the soothing lyricalisms and the night is started well with something like pop but of a more fracture type.

White Light Parade are approaching fixture status in the Bradford music scene but markedly improve to a point where they push past support slots and onto bigger and better which will surely come with the release of debut single Wait For The Weekend in December which - when played tonight - is greeted with an insane boogie by three of the more loyal followers. They are a band who should inspire loyalty with their swaggering attitude of ebullience which fits the cold Friday night in Bradford and lifts all listening. Musically they are tight with the brothers Danny and Johnno Yates complementing each other's picked out guitar work riffing off each other until Johnno's strings meet microphone finale.

Comparisons are easy and obvious but there is a glistening of originality in songs like Turn The Lights Down "Six O'Clock/I've been locked up/But I just want to go home." It is a craving for Liberty rather than a stealing of it.

Sky Larkin' cannot match the pace of WLP and come over a little more shambolic and less driven than the previous act. Vocally they sink under a fuzz of guitar - and not in that cool Steve Albini way - and lack a projection.

Which is not to say that they are not entertaining - they are - but that they seem unsure as to which direction they want to take you. Are they perfect pop or rough and ready? They play a couple of new songs and appreciate the friendly atmosphere of the Love Apple more than the previous night's Club NME crowd and the Love Apple responds with hearty applause but one is left confused and wanting to hear more of the melody of Buffalo '77 or the swagger of White Light Parade.

The night ebbs away pleasantly into the cold Bradford sky. Buffalo 77 are sombre, White Light Parade serious and Sky Larkin' a little sillier. All present pop of a sort and perfection is always something to strive for rather than achieve.

The Views Are Still Astounding More

Granadaland Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Friday, March 30th, 2007

fourteencorners, White Light Parade, Le Tournoi, Kubera Granadaland at The Love Apple, Bradford

"The views are still astounding though, even without the smoke."

This is the second time in five days that I've seen harder than most rockers Kubera and they are growing on me in a conspiratorial way. They are louder than the Love Apple and it is not hard to see why they get mentioned in The Gasworks but they are amusing and kick this night of four off with energy. The lead singer wears a dressing gown and swears less than last week but my mate who also saw both and thinks that music is music when the amp is turned up bops along and that is good enough for me.

She was not bopping away to the altogether more melodic Le Tournoi who swim between the tweeness of a Sarah Band and something more Steve Albini produced. The view down one of many futures Le Tournoi are a young version of Cinerama circa Torino putting out intelligent pop with a warm tinge, down another they are Heavenly, Blueboy or The Field Mice making smart music for a small band of devotees.

Taaryn's sax is lost in the mixing desk which is a shame but not as bad as the band's unending need to suppressing William and Emilie's intelligent vocals. Le Tournoi are still a work in progress and there is a chance that that work is going to be blistering and blinding and brilliant.

Already dubbed blistering and blinding and brilliant are White Light Parade who - in common with a lot of bands around the City at the moment - are destined for bigger. Tonight they are second on the bill to fourteencorners cause Danny Yates wants to get plastered after they finish and strut the stage with the swagger of an fantastically arrogant band. They aim for The Clash and come over as The Libertines but that is no bad thing. Wait For The Weekend is anthemic, When The Lights Go Down memorable. Bigger things, more record sales, downloads, bigger venues. All that stuff await and White Light Parade will stand alongside The View and probably be lots and lots of people's second favourite band.

Which sounds like a criticism and is not supposed to - the kids lap them up after all - but for all the energy of White Light Parade they are treading a familiar path. They tread it well but the smoke and mirrors of media interest might just mask a bunch of talent lads being put on a three month release cycle with the likes of those scamps from Dundee.

There is no familiar path for fourteencorners who open with a stripped down Small Northern Town and go through five perfectly formed numbers with confidence. Tsotumi sounds better than it ever has done and bursts the stage after Josh's picking through SNT. The increasingly absurdly tall Luke takes flight on We Are Pathetic! We Are Stars! scraping guitar strings and backing with a power call - "So, Come On" never sounded so good.

Nor have fourteencorners - or so is the consensus in an increasingly growing crowd who all seem to know the Larry David samples missing from the live set - who reminisce in sound on The Wedding Present, on Billy Bragg, on Grant Lee Buffalo while having a set of songs that demand attention. They close with New Limbs For Old Flames which would seem to make sense further up the order but while notes fall out of place the impression is that fourteencorners are a band to love not like and that there is no smoke and mirrors and that the view really is astounding.