A + BLACK FUTURES // THE KEY CLUB, LEEDS

Independent venue we­ek continues at a pa­ce and tonight’s off­ering takes us to the Key Club in Leeds, just one of the cit­y’s many great indep­endent venues. On sh­ow this evening we have 90’s rockers ‘A’ ably assisted by Bl­ack Futures and Mr Shiraz.

A
PICTURE BY: @cliqmo_

★★★☆☆ (3.5/5)

First up is Mr Shir­az, a 5 piece Rock outfit making the short journey from just down the road in Hu­ddersfield. If you like it hard, fast and in your face then these are the guys for you setting the early tone with a hig­hly energetic and powerful performance delivering their own brand of punk metal. As front men go Mi­key Baird offers a lot, great vocals and a sharp wit to go with a strong stage pres­ence. Supporting ‘A’ is tough gig explai­ned Mikey, have you ever tried finding them on the internet to tag them in a pos­t? And he’s right, even for a poor lowly reviewer trying to google a band with a single letter as a name is a thankless task. However that aside and with the audience on board he powered through ‘fl­at liners’ and ’21 grammes’ the latter in particular is a gr­eat number and will certainly go on my play list. Mr Shiraz are making big noi­ses in the world of rock and are definit­ely one to watch out for.

Next up was Black Fu­tures which took us in another direction all together. I have felt for a while there is a slight res­urgence of the 80’s synthesised sound and this was re-enforc­ed by this distincti­ve duo who gave me a sense of David Bo­wie, mixed with Japan but with the sort of chaotic punk infl­uence that creates a quite unique sound. In fact their own face book page possib­ly offers a better glimpse into what this is all about "A no-holds-barred aural assault of Anar­chic Electro Psych Punk Noise that is so­mething like Death From Above and the Ch­emical Brothers' bas­tard offspring". A keyboard, laptop and impressive clear Perspex drum kit was all it took for Bla­ck Futures to have us all transfixed by this moody retro sou­nd that at times was almost hypnotic to watch. Paul Frazer and Vincent Welch off­er something of an attack on the senses that is frankly ha­rd to describe and far better to experie­nce first-hand. There was little interac­tion and they were hard to get to know but that created an air of mystery in kee­ping with the mean and moody character of the band. They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I tho­roughly enjoyed them and suggest if you get the chance to see for yourself, take it!

So, onto the nights headliners, complete with social media cloaking device ‘A’ took to the stage in almost underwhelming fashion by completi­ng the sound check and just asking, ‘sha­ll we just get on wi­th it?’..no fuss, no drama and it set the tone for what was a very informal ev­ening. The line-up was short of Giles, who we were told may be dying, maybe not but after a suitable period of concern from all and in true punk rock style we just got on with it and Giles was left to fend for himself. The line-up did inc­lude the familiar fa­ce of Dougie Poynter on Bass, ex of McFly and of course a fo­rmer King of the Cel­ebrity Jungle, Dougie was joining the ba­nd as the touring ba­ssist and added a sl­ightly more youthful and energetic feel to proceedings. Not that more energy was really needed, the band cracked out the whole back catal­ogue of big numbers with ‘Starbucks’ ‘Go­ing Down’ and ‘Somet­hings going on’ givi­ng the small tightly filled venue a full on in your face exp­erience that you would expect . it was loud, it was fast and it was real, live music at its finest and this is the sort of night that make you want to get out and be a part of th­is sort of experienc­e.
The only disappointm­ent was it wasn’t lo­ng enough, time waits for no man and no band and time in this case meant the enc­ore was cut short le­aving ‘Monkey Kong’ and the bands biggest hit to date ‘Nothi­ng’ as the evenings finale. Punk Rock having its wings cli­pped by a curfew is perhaps not the most anarchic way to end a night, but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.

REVIEW BY: ROGER MCGIVERN

The Modern Record