Tag Archives: Adelphi

Frankie & The Heartstrings, Night Flowers and Carvell at Adelphi 02.10.15

Weary from the working week, I found myself slogging my way down to the Adelphi for a night of music. A night of music I had been anticipating since the initial announcement that Frankie & The Heartstrings were opening their tour in our fair city.

It was silly of me to ever doubt the joy in which a Frankie gig can bring. The Adelphi promised “3 of the best” and they certainly delivered.


First on the stage was a band you’ve probably yet to hear. If you check out Carvell on Facebook or Soundcloud, you won’t find much. That’s because the band are relatively new, bringing their live debut to Hull after signing with a major record label you may well have heard of. A London-based four-piece, their sound is that of a guitar-fronted rock band, a beat catchy enough to get your foot tapping from the outset. And though you catch onto the instruments quickly, you can’t as quickly snap up the lyrics and sing along too easily – leaving you wanting to find more about them. Not being able to go home with a CD so that soon you would be quickly singing along at a gig would certainly have disappointed some members of the audience.

They concluded their set with what will be their first single, ‘Sway, which they aim to release imminently. It starts with a simple guitar introduction, building the noise quickly before calming down just enough to allow the vocals to lay atop the sound. Each instrument held its own, clearly visible in the ensemble, while also working well to generate the sound which will likely define this band.

It was a sound which pumped into the audience, a scattered crowd which grew in size as the band performed, and was received with loud cheers. A debut which showed some nerves – the bassist kept to his end of the stage with an air of anticipation. But it was a debut which held a lot of promise. I can imagine their sound permeating the charts, that relatable rock with choruses has you unconsciously singing on the bus.

Night Flowers
Night Flowers

Next up was Night Flowers, a band with origins in Humberside but a base currently in London. With two lead vocalists, the male, Greg Ullyart, commented on how good it felt to be back performing at the Adelphi, whereas the female, Sophia Pettit, expressed increasing joy at her first experience in the iconic venue. If you’ve seen the band perform before, you may be surprised to see the addition of Sophia – this was my first time, and I certainly enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm she brought, alongside her melodic vocals.

The level of energy grew quickly throughout the night, the engagement with the audience increasing. The entire room moved to the music of Night Flowers, and within the one set the toilets were discussed, Ronnie Pickering brought up, and the room sang “Happy Birthday” to the Adelphi along with the band. Even if I hadn’t thoroughly appreciated their sound, I certainly enjoyed their banter.

Night Flowers
Night Flowers
Frankie & The Heartstrings
Frankie & The Heartstrings

What I love about Frankie & The Heartstrings is the sheer frivolity in which they perform. It’s a playfulness which seeps out of their records, forcing you to be in a good mood. If only they could perform for us all every Friday evening!

They played all their classic tunes from previous albums as well as the very best from third album ‘Decency’ for which the tour is promoting. This included title song and opener ‘Decency’ and their next single ‘Money’, not to be confused with a single by a Hull band who appeared at the front of the crowd.

Frankie introduces the band's new bassist
Frankie introduces the band’s new bassist

Frontman Frankie moved across stage, stretching into the audience and inviting them to sing along. We filled the room, moving with the band. A gaggle of lads before the stage had been chanting “Sunderland” all evening, and were fortunate enough to receive a song dedicated to them (with a plea to quit the chanting). I even spotted Frankie and drummer Dave Harper posing for the cameras which circled them, eager to catch the fast-paced musicians as they performed.


I was particularly excited by the end of their set, when they performed two of my favourite Frankie tracks: ‘Think Yourself Lucky’ from the new album and ‘Fragile’ from first album ‘Hunger’. I even had to put my own camera down for ‘Lucky’ watching to see if the moves from the track’s music video were engrained in those band members holding guitars – indeed it seemed to be as Ross Millard and Michael McKnight moved almost in sync, while the new bassist remained somewhat more static – and dancing with equal energy myself.

It’s impossible not to feel elated when Frankie & The Heartstrings are on stage. They are everything wonderful about live music: fantastic tunes, glorious banter and more energy than a hummingbird after a can of Red Bull.

And though I had started the night feeling lacklustre, by midnight I was exhilarated. Many went on for more, spending that vigour in the various bars along Newland and Princes Ave.

If you haven’t caught them yet, get yourself to a Frankie gig. They’ve only just started their tour!

3 Frankie & The Heartstrings @ Adelphi 02.10.15

Friday 09.10 – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, UK

Saturday 10.10 – Hackney Wonderland, London, UK

Tuesday 08.12 – Rock City, Nottingham, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Wednesday 09.12 – Tramshed, Cardiff, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Friday 11.12 – Nick Rayns LCR, UEA, Norwich, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Saturday 12.12 – O2 Academy Birmingham, Birmingham, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Monday 14.12 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Tuesday 15.12 – Caird Hall, Dundee, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Thursday 17.12 – O2 Academy Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Friday 18.12 – O2 Academy Liverpool, Liverpool, UK  (with The Charlatans)

Saturday 19.12 – O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK  (with The Charlatans)

BABIES EP launch – 26th March 2015

There are some bands who exude so much passion and drive that it just sucks you in.

Browse Mag cover (issue 26)  Photo credit goes to Paul Newbon.
Browse Mag cover (issue 26)
Photo credit goes to Paul Newbon.

Babies did exactly this when I met with them in a café a couple of weeks ago for a cover interview with Browse Magazine. Over cups of coffee and pots of tea, I witnessed the enthusiasm and desire which keeps them going back to the rehearsal room, back to the stages on which they perform. Even when it feels like everything is against them.

Two days later, I attended their EP launch at the Adelphi, this time with the intention of capturing them in photographic form. My diddy camera and I are getting better at this, and I was pleased with the outcome. Sadly, stepping down from the stage at the end of the night, Ry, lead singer and guitarist of Babies, did not express the same sentiment about the night.

I entered the Adelphi to see the lads – Ry Smith, Joe Vickers and Sam Mackereth – in giddy excitement. I picked a t-shirt with their band name sprayed thrice onto the front, and wandered through for to get a drink and seat. The room was warmly lit, as the Adelphi often is, and on the back wall was a banner, their name spraypainted across a white sheet. I love the DIY element of it, the effort to ensure their name was seen without too much funding. It says: this is us, take it or leave it.

Kev La Kat
Kev La Kat

The night started off with Kev La Kat, who has supported the band in other ways also. I’ve always been inspired by the courage it must take one man (or indeed woman) to stand before an audience alongside only instruments. Kev La Kat did have an array of instruments – guitar, laptop, soundboard and keys – and through these he produced some wonderful sounds. An ideal warm-up for the night, getting the scattered crowd engaged with the stage.

Next onto the stage were Trash, an indie-pop band hailing from Chesterfield. Theirs was the first of interesting stage set-ups. You’re so used to seeing the lead singer positioned centre-stage, that it’s a little uncomfortable when bands decide not to follow this. Trash had their singer to the left, with the bassist at central focus; made more bizarre as he was the least animated of the band. I enjoyed their sound: energetic guitars with a pounding bass beat from the drums. It was easy to move to, making photography difficult.


Following Trash was Oedipus The King, a band I’ve heard huge things about but hadn’t witnessed for myself until that night. They are truly a force to be reckoned with, and rather – sadly, but honestly – stole the show. Lead singer and guitarist, Daniel Symes stood to the right of the stage, furthest away from where I started their set. His powerful voice drew the audience in, physically moving them closer to the stage, and then stepped out to join them, circling the crowd. They have a natural confidence, having mastered their stage craft to demonstrate power over their audience while maintaining a secure link with them.

Oedipus The King - Sean Hartley
  Oedipus The King – Sean Hartley
Oedipus The King - Daniel Symes
Oedipus The King – Daniel Symes

Even with an issue regarding a guitar lead, which had guitarist Sean Hartley unplugging and re-plugging his two guitars until he could get one of them to produce the required sound; this too was done with confidence and ease, creating a little joke when he was successful and able to join in with his band.

This same issue continued into the headline set, with Joe taking the left corner of the stage and the dodgy lead. While he tackled with this, Ry and Sam kicked into their first few songs, a mixture of their older tracks, those on their EP and a couple of newer tracks, yet unheard. Joe, fighting with the lead, performed on his bass, but I couldn’t be sure we could hear any of it off stage.

BABIES - Joe Vickers on bass & Ry Smith on guitar
BABIES – Joe Vickers on bass & Ry Smith on guitar

And so close are these boys that Joe’s struggle seemed to become the band’s struggle. Ry forgot to tune his guitar during one song, and things started to slip as they focused on these details.

From the crowd, I simply saw these passionate boys doing their best. Oedipus The King had stepped things up so greatly, that any fall would be a colossal one. However, the enjoyment was still there. The boys of Trash lined up along the front of the stage – Babies t-shirts on, the orange and red spraypaint glittering in the lights from the stage – moving to the sound.

Ry Smith
Ry Smith

So, when Ry stepped down from the stage and said to me that he was unhappy with the set (his words were much more brutal), I simply smiled and told him I had enjoyed it. It was DIY, it was rustic, it wasn’t perfect, but it was bloody good fun. When Joe finally gave up on the dodgy lead, he grabbed drumsticks and thrashed his annoyance out with Sam, and it was loud and exciting. That’s what you can take from a Babies gig – loud excitement.

Yes, Babies can improve their game. They have a collection of brilliant songs, with a sound unlike most bands in the area, and they’ve a solid following who support them whole-heartedly. These things happen, and with practice and growth of confidence, they don’t seem as significant. Babies are still in their (mind the pun) baby years of their music career, and I am sure they will take from this the lesson which will make them more powerful performers who can command the stage and drive their music deeper into the world.

Tunes to Check Out

Check out these new tracks from Hull bands, featured now on Soundcloud:

Superfast and super-loud, ‘Go Go Go’ is the one LIFE song I’ve so far failed to learn the lyrics to at their live gigs. It opens with a heavy set of drums and guitars, before the lyrics cut in. You’ll be glad to know that there are some slower parts, and you will be able to join in with the line “Oh no, I gotta go” from which we can only assume the title was developed.

This is the ideal tune for mid-set in a LIFE show, energetic and aggressive with moments in which you can catch your breath. And, if you are going to try and sing along, you’ll need those moments!

BABIES are holding their EP launch this Thursday at the Adelphi, performing a hometown gig towards the end of their tour. ‘Beach Date (When Yr Dead)’ is the first track on the EP; a slow and seductive tune which summarises their sound for me. Indie-rock meets surf-punk, they tease you with their sombre tune, before hurling catchy lyrics at you.

Alongside ‘Sink’ and ‘Teeth’, this tune is the less catchy and does not kick you with quite the colourful language as the title track.

And last in my list is something completely new. The only track featured on the Soundcloud page for this mysterious ensemble.

Boundaries of Us’ is the first track released by Assembling Languages. A thoroughly electric tune with guitars looping over guitars. An upbeat tune with sombre lyrics, this is one which gets you moving subconsciously. I dare you not to sing along as the backing vocals repeat the word “Pull” behind the final verses.

Previously, I would have been ignorant and obnoxious enough to cast this tune aside, simply stating that it wasn’t to my taste. But there’s something captivating about it; after just one listen, I found myself singing it aloud down the street.

Independent Venue Week 2015

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend two of the gigs being held at The New Adelphi Club, as part of Independent Venue Week 2015.

Thursday 29th January – The Weeks / Apache Relay / Young Jack 

Halfway through Independent Venue Week, Thursday was my first chance to get out and taste something from the diverse menu offered. Arriving a little later than I usually do, I dived into a crowded room, just as the live music was about to start.

Hull’s own, Young Jack were a wonderful warm up act to support the visiting bands. Always charismatic, always full of energy, their music gets any crowd moving. And the crowd were on their feet from the very first song, spilling forward quickly.

Young Jack (Burning Heart Photography)
Young Jack (Burning Heart Photography)

Their sound is funky rock, mixing in the up-beat soul rhythms with classic guitar-lead rock. I’ve described the band previously as Rolling Stones meets James Brown. And indeed, the one cover they played was one of his. Their own songs are equally catchy, with a chorus which is easy enough to pick up and sing along to, intermixing powerful instrumentals. They’ve mastered a fantastic sound, though at times it is a sound which seems too old for the young lads: the aural demonstration not quite matching what you see on stage.

Lead vocalist Luke Bowe engaged with the audience at times, suggesting that we “clap along a little bit” to a couple of songs. But overall, a hometown crowd will do this out of loyalty rather than because they are entranced by the music or performance. The bands who followed, both hailing from over the waters, had mastered these showman tricks, taking the stage entirely.

Not the headline band, but sandwiched into the central slot, The Apache Relay were the highlight of the night, for me at least. From Nashville, Tennessee, they describe their sound as indie roots. As with Young Jack, you heard the clear rock sound with the undercurrent of other influences: country, folk and blues. Harmonies sweeping you off your feet, a bass beat getting those feet tapping again, and the stunningly soft and charming voice of Michael Ford Jr.

Apache Relay (Burning Heart Photography)
Apache Relay (Burning Heart Photography)

Ford’s hips were swaying with the music, hypnotising you further as the music drew you forward. A softer sound than the other two bands, I felt the last of the shivering cold from outside warming, as though I were sat before a homely hearth. Starting with a mellow sound, this grew in volume and intensity, demonstrating a range of musical comforts. Though I’d not heard much of their music before the gig, I found I was swaying quite naturally to the sound. It was instantly enjoyable, with my favourite track being the one which concluded the set.

Throughout, Ford was engaging with the audience. He introduced members of his band, announcing that it was drummer Steve Smith’s birthday. Leaning into the crowd, there was conversation which filled the short intervals between songs, complimenting the crowd and venue as he stated that it was an “honour to be playing this legendary venue … you’re beautiful Hull”. And the crowd responded well by shuffling even closer to the stage.

For a Thursday night, the Adelphi was packed – the few yards in front of the stage rammed with feet. Space was tight, making any dance moves minimal. But this is a testament to The New Adelphi Club, an iconic venue in the city.

The Weeks (Burning Heart Photography)
The Weeks (Burning Heart Photography)

Headlining band The Weeks took to the stage as everyone shuffled forward yet again. Between bands, people filtered from the front, only to eagerly return to their places. All the way from Jackson, Mississippi, they brought a very classic rock and roll sound.

Again, lead vocalist Cyle Barnes, demonstrated a variety of skills whereby the frontman becomes middleman between the musicians and their listeners. He was also complimentary, announcing at the start of their set that “we’ve been looking forward to this gig”, again calling the people of Hull beautiful (which, of course, we are). There was energy from all members of the band. Due to the increasing surge of the crowd, who seemed to find space which hadn’t been there during the previous acts, I was unable to see much of the stage. However, you could feel the energy flowing back over you, and every now and again Barnes’ would appear as he bounced across the stage. With no instrument, he displayed his enthusiasm for their music by moving around throughout the instrumentals, and leaning into the crowd when at the mic.

The audience didn’t need to be asked to clap along for this band, who are well established on the stage, taking control of the entire room through their natural rapture.

I was comfortable with the sound of all three bands. Though performing different styles of rock, they were equally engaging and enthusiastic. And it was through their demonstration of this that I found I was joining in with the movement of the crowd, whose own excitement seemed to grow with each set.

If you haven’t yet heard of US bands Apache Relay or The Weeks, then I definitely advise you do so. Both bands have music available at the usual outlets, including Soundcloud and Spotify.

Saturday 31st January – Frankie & The Heartstrings / LIFE / Vulgarians

(Paul Newbon photography)
(Paul Newbon photography)

A long day of drizzle, I had almost been tempted to let the weather put me off. Nothing could lift the spirits on a day in which even the sun hadn’t wanted to grace the skies. Still, LIFE were playing, and I had yet to see new Hull band Vulgarians perform. And, if that wasn’t tempting enough, I was rather excited about seeing Frankie & The Heartstrings on the penultimate night of their IVW Tour.

The Adelphi was comfortably busy. Surrounded by friendly faces, the clinking of glasses and rumble of chatter defied any doubt that it was going to be a good night was quickly dashed.

Ryan Wilson-Preen, Vulgarians (Paul Newbon photography)
Ryan Wilson-Preen, Vulgarians (Paul Newbon photography)

Vulgarians started the proceedings. Their sound is more metal than rock, with Ryan Wilson-Preen’s deep vocals and powerful instrumentals lead by Tom Morrell’s guitar. I appreciated that you could hear the lyrics, as recently it’s bugged me that live gigs focus more on making noise than allowing the audience to concentrate on the words. That said, it was the instrumentals which held me with Vulgarians. As charismatic as Wilson-Preen is, his voice cannot compete with the lead singers of the bands set to follow him on stage, making them stand out even more as something different. Though stood on the opposite side of the room from him, it was Morrell who had me engaged.

I’m glad Vulgarians are getting the chance to share their music with varied crowds, and as a new band they will have a lot to learn about their own sound and the way in which to work those crowds. Wilson-Preen was on the edge of the stage almost throughout the set, but there still seemed to be something holding him back from directly connecting with the audience. This will come over time, and it is clear this band has what it takes to leap to the next step.

Mez Green-Sanders, LIFE (Paul Newbon photography)
Mez Green-Sanders, LIFE (Paul Newbon photography)

Anyone who’s ever read any of my other reviews of LIFE, knows that I am entirely hypnotised by the band. I can listen to and enjoy pretty much any genre of music, but the sound I really love is exactly which is on their menu: an upbeat, catchy rock sound which encompasses the punk attitude, and blends in an intellectual reflection of popular culture.

Mick Sanders started things off with a few chords on his guitar, before they introduced us to one of their new tracks, ‘Yeah’. Their set consisted of their most popular tracks, as well of some of the newer ones – some entirely new to their fans’ ears – as a taster for the album which they assure us is on the way.

Mick 'The Blur' Sanders, LIFE (Paul Newbon photography)
Mick ‘The Blur’ Sanders, LIFE (Paul Newbon photography)

During ‘All Your Friends’, lead vocalist Mez Green-Sanders was out into the crowd, demonstrating his usual passion for engaging directly with their audience. So busy was the venue that he couldn’t get far, but this never stops him from giving his all to the performance. The energy they excrete from the stage is what’s always drawn me to them. And every set contains an element of chaos. I’ve seen many live sets where microphones have fallen apart or fallen over, but never have I seen one accidentally hurled at the cameraman.

With Frankie and The Heartstrings, it’s easy to see where Mez has learned some of his showmanship from – having supported Frankie & The Heartstrings with former band The Neat. Equally upbeat and energetic, front-man Frankie Francis takes the stage by storm.  He had the crowd so involved, that they became an additional instrument, clapping in time with the bass even without the need to be instructed.

Frankie & The Heartstrings (Paul Newbon photography)
Frankie & The Heartstrings (Paul Newbon photography)

The banter between band members was as joyful as that between band and audience. Drummer Dave Harper added hilarious jokes throughout the set, demonstrating his knowledge of the city when he asked who was heading to Spiders after the gig. Apparently he once had a ‘dalliance with a lady’ there. A courteous band, they thanked both the venue and supporting acts on more than one occasion; uplifting to hear such praise for our home-grown musicians.

Their songs are mostly upbeat, with such catchy tracks as their single ‘That Girl, That Scene’. The entire room was bouncing, and even though their final song ‘Fragile’ is a little more mellow, the room was a-buzz with discussion about where else to take the night – we were warmed up and, unable to stop the adrenalin from flooding our veins, we were ready for more of the same.

Frankie & The Heartstrings (Paul Newbon photography)
Frankie & The Heartstrings (Paul Newbon photography)

A fast-paced night of entertaining music where the only truly negative I could find was that it had to end so quickly.

Though with a performance that strong, whenever I listen to a song from their setlist, I am able to reignite the music with the visual. A week later, and I am still expecting the room to burst into a flaming chorus of “yep-yeah whoa!”

Reviews were originally written for Browse Magazine Hull.

Thanks to Louie Scott (Burning Heart Photography) and Paul Newbon for the photographs,and to Stewart Baxter for the Youtube clip.

Awayke Event – A 3D music experience

The average Saturday night might offer three bands. But this Saturday, down at the Adelphi, was certainly no average night out.

The back wall of the stage area, where usually you can read those names of previous visitors to the venue, was covered by a large white sheet. As I arrived, an image of moving liquid – not unlike that in a lava lamp – swirled across the fabric. It was serene and calming, especially with the room darker than I’d ever seen it before.

The Dyr Sister took to the stage first, with the backdrop of Zach Walker’s cymatic projections.  As she looped together vocals and various instruments, powder and liquid bounced in the background, creating a visual representation of the sound. At first, I wasn’t sure it was in time, but slowly realised that it was merely my brain not connecting sound and image together as one.

Swelling in size and filling the room, the audience had to move forward during the first song, shuffling tables and stools closer to the stage These eager participants were able to enjoy popular songs such as “The Devil Draws in Crayola” as well as her newest tracks, available on her Christmas EP, “Coventry Carol” and “Yule Cat”, about a spritely animal who’ll gobble you up if you don’t buy the children new garments for Christmas. Sadly, those stood further back were less interested in these strange and traditional tales, loudly discussing their own. It could so easily have put everyone off, but instead performers and audience members alike ignored anything which wasn’t on the bill.

The final song of her set, “The Siren” was perfectly matched with what appeared to be a visual display of water reacting to the bass beat.


For Copenhagen, there were no visuals. Instead, creating an auditory demonstration of thumping tunes. Copenhagen are not the most energetic of performers. This is usually something which puts me off a live band, but it fit well with the busy Adelphi and the focus from the musicians ensured that the music was of the highest quality. They performed seven songs, all of which had the audience enthused and actively – at the very least – tapping their feet.

Halfway through the set, lead singer Kurt Gurnell announced that they were “going to wind things up a bit”, and they certainly did. Not ones to tease, all four instruments were thrown back into life, quickly adding vocals to create their heavy rock sound; guitar lead but with a punchy bass beat from the drums.

Following Copenhagen, the stage was quickly transformed, with all instruments and much of the sound equipment stripped away. I’d never seen the Adelphi stage look so big, as James Orvis stood behind his mixing desk and Zach Walker pulled his apparatus forward. No longer masked behind the stack of speakers, people eagerly discussed the science behind his artwork.

Central to the stage, Alice (the other half of Paris XY) was framed by the visual projection. I saw now why it wouldn’t have worked as spectacularly for Copenhagen, as she cast a silhouette into the circle of light.

Alice - Paris XY
Alice – Paris XY

The experience of a Paris XY performance is difficult enough to explain: a tantalising mixture of electronic sounds with the haunting harmony of Alice’s voice and her entrancing movements on stage. So, add in that extra layer of visual stimulus, and the dimensions of your response are multiplied.

Whatever the sixth sense is, I think I felt it during their third track. Alice seemed almost entranced by their music, captivating the audience as she moves in her own liquid formation. In the background, lights bounced, flickering like spits of lava in oranges and deep blues, further emblazoned as the smoke machine sent a grey cloud rippling to the back of the room.

Zach Walker and his cymatic projection behind Paris XY
Zach Walker and his cymatic projection behind Paris XY

Dressed all in black, with the darkness of the room, and the focus of the lights on the projection, songs such as their new single ‘Wytching Hour’ became even more haunting, eerily beautiful and electrifying. At one point a green robotic figure appears behind the stage, seeming to dance with the ethereal spectre of Alice’s shadow. What were probably the simplest elements of the set-up were made to feel complex, while those which were more complicated seemed to work so simplistically. All together, the experience was, as promised, a feast for the senses. Use of less condense matter, liquids rather than solids, were used to capture the sound of the faster songs, rippling across the screen as the sound ripped into your soul, flowing through your veins.

With such a succession of sound, the ending seemed too sudden. Even Paul Jackson was screaming for more, and so they played for another several minutes until hands of the clock signalled the witching hour itself.

Independent Venue Week

A week of celebrations for those small music venues around the UK, and a nod to the people who run them. Week in, week out these venues offer local artists the chance to experience playing live in front of a varied audience, as well as inviting those from further afield.

From Monday 26th January – Sunday 1st of February, venues across the UK will be hosting an eclectic mixture of the talent which has graced their stages as part of Independent Venue Week. Stewart Baxter, of Warren Records, pointed out that “January is always quiet month for all businesses and a time when these venues struggle so IVW helps highlight these places, bring in big acts and put a spotlight on places like the Adelphi.”

Hull bands always refer back to their times at the Adelphi, the iconic venue situated on De Grey Street, which kicks off their celebrations with a reminder of their 30th birthday shenanigans. On Sunday 25th, they will be showing a film premiere of the Live performance of the Kaiser Chiefs gig from November for members of the club.

Adelphi IVW poster

With events following each night of the week, there is a collection of talent from Hull and beyond to pull the audience in. This is the key element of Independent Venue Week. At a quiet time of the year, audiences often forget to support their local acts. The Hull music scene is growing significantly, with an increasing number of venues. But for every new venue or band willing to play, they need the audience to follow and support them. The summer festivals pull in huge crowds, but it is the weekly nights and small venues outside of the city centre which need your support throughout the year. Stewart added that “These places are responsible for every live act you see today, everyone started at a local venue, and without their support and belief in new music we wouldn’t have any of it. So it’s important to remember where it all starts, to support these bands now knowing that many of them will go on to greater things and we have helped them get there.”

#madeinhull poster

On Tuesday there is something different on the cards. #MadeinHull will see 10 bands on the stage, playing the instruments which have been set up for them. Selected at random on the night, each of these bands will then have the chance to perform a couple of songs to the crowd who gather. No messing about, simply get up and play when your name is called out. For the small price of £2, a night of opportunities.

On Thursday, US bands The Weeks and The Apache Relay, grace the stage, alongside Hull’s own Young Jack. This one is expected to bring in a huge crowd, after their last visit to the Adelphi was sold out.

On Friday, Fruit is hosting Summat Good, featurin Paris XY, Oedipus The King and T.G.L.D for a night of music and art, as the art collective Something Entirely Different produce work around the venue. A reminder that Hull boasts not only its growing music scene, but also the art scene as well.

frankie & heartstrings gig poster

Back at Adelphi, Saturday night sees Sunderland band Frankie & The Heartstrings perform, with support from the fantastic LIFE and new band Vulgarians. Their music described as “the terrible truth for the creative freaks”, they have an energetic sound, which I assure you will you on your feet and moving around the room. A fantastic line-up.

Concluding on Sunday with Lach reading from his debut book of poetry, ‘The Thin Book of Poems’. Described as “a face-ache funny, beat-punk-unplugged joy” by The Guardian and “a gruff-and-tough punk turned poet with a heart of gold” by Timeout New York, this night, with support from The Pub Corner Poets, offers a relaxed, humorous adventure.

Don’t let the January chill keep you at home this week. Even if you can only spare the one evening to support our local venues, ensure you get down to either The New Adelphi Club or Fruit. With such a collection of artists available, there’s something to entice everyone.

Showing Some Love For Coaves

I’ve been talking about these guys a lot recently. To anyone who’ll listen.

It’s not simply because I’ve been doing some work with them recently – they’ll feature on the cover of Browse Magazine this week. Quite honestly, I just have a lot to say about them.

Coaves at the Sesh  Photo by Luke Hallett
Coaves at the Sesh
Photo by Luke Hallett

Coaves are a band of four lively lads, who create a sunny rock sound which is quickly gets you moving. With three strong singers, their vocals are something completely different to what a lot of bands offer. Add to that their musical talents (we can’t forget Connor on drums, who Alan Raw described as one of the best drummers in Hull), and you’ve got an awful lot to shout about.

Tomorrow, they are hosting their single launch for new track ‘Waves’, held at the Adelphi and for a mere cost of £3. They admitted that the track sounds somewhat like another of their singles, ‘Change Your Mind’, but this one offers even more layers of sound and Jon Calvert, lead vocalist, has to work hard to sing some of the lines very quickly. Chatting with Alan Raw on BBC Introducing this Saturday, they noted the additional layer of sound through use of clapping on the track, with Calvert referring to himself as “singer, guitarist and clappist”. This is rather subtle on the track, but a great addition to their animated live sets.

Performing on BBC Introducing Humberside
Performing on BBC Introducing Humberside

Playing every gig like it’s packed, Coaves have gained a reputation for putting on a good show. Their last gig saw them supporting Pigeon Detectives, alongside The Hubbards, and they opened the night with a whirlwind of sound and enthusiasm.

It is their energetic style which gained my interest in the first place, and it is their flair and excitement that has me hooked. It’s not just on stage or in the studio that these guys demonstrate their enthusiasm; they’re just bouncing all the time. The banter during rehearsals is ongoing. During the set up at BBC Introducing, which I was fortunate enough to be witness to, Connor was granted several nicknames by the other lads – the teasing of good friends, which they were comfortable to share.

Attempting a serious pose
Attempting a serious pose

I was there as a member of Browse, interviewing the band for the cover feature, alongside one of our fantastic photographers, Chris Pepper, who had the task of taking several shots. Our main issue was simply to get them to take a serious shot. Chortling through the customary ‘stand in a row and look somewhat moody’ pose, we had to consider alternatives. It was neither Chris nor myself who guided this however, as Liam suggested they do a superhero shot and then they ended up behind the café counter, preparing to serve us imaginary drinks and soup.

Taking on a different role
Taking on a different role

I’m often asked who the best bands in Hull are. When I say that I’m a music writer, or mention Browse, it’s one of the first things people often question. My generic response is, “As with my students, I do not have favourites…” of which everyone knows is ridiculously sarcastic (I have favourite students, and I have favourite bands – I’m not great at hiding either of these facts). But then I’ll rush into a list of wonderful performers, and then into a list of those who are just simply wonderful. Not just for their music, but because their personalities shine.

I guess that was the purpose of this blog post. I should probably be writing a last minute preview for their single launch event. But as I sat to write their brief bio for Browse this week, I felt the urge to write more.

Coaves single launch

Why do I love Coaves? Why are they one of my top 10 Hull bands? Because they are everything I love about the Hull music scene. They’re lively lads with infinite enthusiasm, who take their music seriously but not themselves. They’re a good laugh to be around, making time slip quickly by as you join in with the silly moment which arise around them. They’re genuinely good guys who have a passion and a spirit which deserves to see them reaching those high goals.

So, a final plug for tomorrow’s event: for £3 you get a night of fantastic music from three fantastic bands, as well as free download of their new single ‘Waves’ exclusively released to those who attend.

And a final word: if you haven’t listened to their music yet, get on it!

TONIGHT: Awayke event

AWAYKE presents Paris XY / Copenhagen / Dyr Sister / Zach Walker

AWAYKE poster

Awaken your senses at The New Adelphi Club on Saturday, 13th December. Alongside the tantalising sounds of Paris XY, Copenhagen and Dyr Sister, you will be treated to Cynamatic Projections from Zach Walker. A feast for the ears and eyes: music, arts and crafted electric vibes.

Paris XY are a duo made up of Alice Smith and James Orvis. With dark poetic lyrics and a sound influenced by Joy Division, Radiohead, Trentemøller and The Knife, they have developed a unique sound which pushes the boundaries of electronic music.

Their recently released single, Wytching Hour, is a disturbing depiction of the everyday man, which sets the listener on a journey to discover truth in the dark view of modern society.

Copenhagen took their name from the road in which they rehearse, in the centre of an industrial estate in Hull. The band consists of Kurt Gurnell, Gareth Mills, Stuart Bichanan and Owen Garbutt. With influences from early to mid-period Verve and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, blended with contemporary The Horrors, these guys produce anthems of melodious, psychedelic rock.

The Dyr Sister on the cover of Browse Magazine
The Dyr Sister on the cover of Browse Magazine

The Dyr Sister is a one-woman band consisting of Sally Currie. Writing and performing her music entirely live, she blends the sounds of her melodic vocals, classical instruments and whatever she pulls from her treasure chest into a delight for the ears. Mixing influences from folk, jungle and dubstep, she refuses to let a genre define her.

Zach Walker creates live visual performances using original filmed content that he mixes with the live Organic Electronics technique. From Seattle, he lived and studied in Hull for a number of years before moving to London to hone his craft through visual art. He’s spent years lighting up festivals and events, such as Glastonbury, producing a projected video installation piece on the outside of the MSRI building, and another piece which premiered in the fine art setting forming a significant part of the recent Reeps One ADO Exhibition, as featured on the BBC London News.

Recently, he has established Make.AMPLIFY with award-winning dance artist Jennifer Irons. Using a mixture of art, movement and innovative digital technology, they reveal all that is hidden, ignored, discarded and forgotten, inspiring people and creating meaningful experiences for their many audiences.

This event promises to amaze, delight and inspire, offering more than your Saturday night. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets are £6 otd.

Preview originally written for Browse Magazine

Pearls Cab Ride @ Adelphi 22.11.14

Pearls Cab Ride @ Adelphi 22.11.14

Having walked through the foggy streets of Hull, on a day when De Grey Street is aptly named, I was pleased to enter the lit chamber of the Adelphi. There’s something comforting about the venue – of which I am becoming somewhat of a regular – with its red hues and chatty staff.

The song ‘One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer’ welcomed me, and my foot was tapping before I’d even sat down. I was early, as usual, and watched the slow meandering crowd grow into a bustling blend of personalities. The compilation of funk and soul from the speakers had people dancing before the band even stepped up onto stage, preparing everyone for the night’s main event.

Pearls Cab Ride are a nine-piece funk and soul band, which fill the stage at Adelphi. With all sincerity, they can fill most stages, performing with a powerful energy and a mixture of instruments.

Pearls Cab Ride

Their set started with a simple beat, enticing the audience in, building in volume and speed. Drums, guitars and brass instruments meeting a climax, Lyn Acton steps up to front the band. She’s a small woman, who should drown even on this small space, but her personality reaches the back of the room in waves.

Pearls Cab Ride - Lyn Acton

Throughout the set, she shares her soul with the audience. Her voice is that force you get from a jazz singer, and by intercepting each song with her own repartee – teasing the other members of the band and a continuous banter with the crowd – there is that consistent connection with the audience. At times this is merely a bit of wordplay dropped in, such as when introducing a song: “Hard Times … we’ve all had them.” At other times, it’s directly involving audience members as she calls out to them by name; friends and local business owners, as well as plugging their new single ‘Colours’ by pointing out that BBC Burnsy, stood near the bar, had played the song recently on his radio show. She also offers anecdotes; the most significant of this event being an introduction to the song “I Believe in Miracles”, which she told the room was a song she and her son Jack had played when they heard Obama had been voted as president, adding that “we did believe in miracles”.

What I really love about this band is the personality and the joyous comfort with which they all play together. Each member is introduced to us at least once, having their moment to take centre stage – not literally; this would be chaotic on the Adelphi stage – and showcase their individual talents. And then they come back into the collective again and produce a sheer compilation of energy, all with smiles on their faces. When the brass section aren’t playing, they’re dancing or singing along. It’s more than just enjoying the music, they create the atmosphere and an aura of vitality and elation which pierces the grey skies of a winter weekend.

It’s the definition of a good time – wonderful music, charming conversation and an energy which gets everyone involved. It’s impossible not to join in, swaying to the beat or completely letting loose on the dancefloor.