Date: 11 November 2016
Venue: The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Leeds is full of music venues of all shapes and sizes, and the Brudenell Social Club is a surreal time machine. Though new comers are skeptical upon entering, reassurance greets them along with familiar groups, bass blaring out of the back room and the same shitty beers.
Main support – Mums
The young three-piece from Widnes gingerly approach the stage and started warming up the crowd with an unassuming bass line and a low-key drum beat before bursting into some agro-rock magic, reminiscent of similar young grunge bands such as allusondrugs. This band have the right image and vision for what they want to achieve, but it is apparent that they are still in the early stages of progression, leaving them at risk of being stuck as another ‘Nirvana-wannabe-band’. However, technical difficulties suffered by the band throughout and some unsettling nerves surely contributed to this some and as the set went on, the distinctive sounds and styles of Mums began to shine through, reminding us of other fuzzy noise-rock bands such as Groves and Lake of Snakes.
The track ‘Enemy’s Museum’ made quite the impression, with head-crushing bass blaring out and front man Jack Evans’s surprisingly measured screams, a quality that is becoming increasingly rare in bands. Mums were kind enough to give a low-key interval, with ominous bass lines to allow you to breathe before smacking you around the face once more, their music living of heavy reverb and droning riffs.
At times, Mums got it absolutely right, with sinister lyrics and apathetic strumming that sent you into a grungy trace – drummer Lewis O’Neil was also possibly the highlight of the set with comical and light-hearted approaches to the heaviest and dirtiest tunes – but at other moments songs were attempted to be stuffed with distorted layers of guitar, leaving the music almost incomprehensible.
Mums have recently released their debut album, Land Of Giants on Superstar Destroyer which is grabbing the attention of many across the UK, as the band settles into what they want to be, their music will hopefully rise to a higher standard them more confident and satisfied – we can’t wait to see how they grow.
Headliners – TRAAMS
We saw TRAAMS soon before the release of their debut album as the main support act for Eagulls (Check out the lovely review here) and since then the band has rapidly matured, with a more creative and polished set and more confidence leaking off the players – however frontman Stuart Hopkins remains minimal in audience engagement with the odd playing-it-cool “cheers” at the end of a track.
The Chichester boys opened with ‘Costner‘, a familiar hit with fans from the debut album and an exciting opener for the first-timers with vibes similar to Drenge. Despite progressing onto the next step of maturity in their structure, TRAAMS remain a sort of organised chaos, one that has an experimental twist throughout created by Stuart who seemingly makes it up as he goes a long – and it just works. The following song was ‘Get Outta Here‘, featured a punk-esk guitar riff throughout to lay the foundation for drummer Adam Stock to really excel in heart-pounding bass beats. It must have been humbling for the band members to witness the crowd recognize and sing along to their stuff in the typical rowdy tones, a recent departure from the early stages of playing live in which people continue to be skeptical of each song and always wanting more – TRAAMS are really starting to own their band identity.
The highlight of the set had to be their most recent single, ‘A House On Fire’ bringing an electric vibe to the whole room. With an 80s style bass line that could spark memories of Joy Division and the continuous chanting throughout, front man Stuart found himself in his element, with a battering guitar commotion and apathetic screams (a smile may have even appeared). A definite exhaustion appeared after every song, and I think that was the intended effect.
TRAAMS have also grown more experimental in their live sets, progressing from rushing through many short and snappy hits, to taking their time to fry our brains with reverb-heavy blaring guitar. In many of the tracks such as ‘Head Roll‘, the crowd would be built up through mounting drums and riled up lyrics before reaching an instrumental breakdown where Adam, Leigh and Stuart would join forces and gradually descend into manic white-noise. The instrumental ability of these guys and the energy they manage to generate despite being relatively static on stage is what makes TRAAMS distinct from other, more armature sad-punk bands attempting to do the same. Now they are starting to headline their own shows and no longer have to make creative compromises, they can continue to build in more risky and mind-melting aspects into their music.