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.
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.