Tag Archives: Black Delta Movement

The Sesh 20.01.15

There are two ways in which a band will keep you out late on a chilly winter’s night. The first is loyalty: being one of those bands you just adore, knowing they’ll put on a good show and keep you entertained. The second is to catch you when you’re already out and draw you in for more by simply being brilliant. Often the second comes first.

In the case of this week’s Sesh, I was drawn out by loyalty. My first Sesh of 2015 featured two bands I have not seen previously and one I’m rather attached to. I’ve written quite a lot about Streaming Lights, admitting my reservations when first introduced to them years ago, and then my falling for their charms.

And so, this Tuesday, I stepped out into the cold air and made my way down to the Polar Bear. Meeting with my Browse comrades – Paul and Luke with their cameras, and Darren reviewing for the mag – I was rather giddy.

Magic Carpet Factory
Magic Carpet Factory

I arrived, as I often do, during the soundcheck for the opening band, Magic Carpet Factory. Lead singer, Adam Desforges, stepped up to the mic, a guitar around him and a maraca in his hand. Turning to Paul, I joked that they “had me at maracas”, having previously got quite anxious when Black Delta Movement hadn’t played my favourite tune ‘Butterfly’ (featuring maracas). We chatted quietly through their soundcheck, growing louder as the music over the system came on. The audience grew too; the room becoming busy but not heaving.

Magic Carpet Factory
Magic Carpet Factory

The joke turned more serious as the band started their set with a bass beat from the drums coursing through the veins of the crowd. Hiked up by the guitars, the music cradled Desforge’s voice. I struggled throughout the night to say who they reminded me of, having a rather classic indie rock sound – enjoyable easy listening which got our feet tapping. I particularly enjoyed their song ‘Midnight Kiss’ which has catchy lyrics I felt I could sing along to. An ideal warming opener, especially as I anticipated the energetic set to come.

Paul’s verdict on Magic Carpet Ride was that they were ‘very good’, giving them both thumbs up (again demonstrating why he doesn’t write the reviews).

And The Hangnails
And The Hangnails

And The Hangnails from York took to the stage next. They had been highly recommended by Black Delta Movement, who they have seen and played along previously, and so I expected a similar sound from the two men and their instruments.

Being a duo, I was quickly impressed with the power they created on stage. Martyn Fillingham, on guitar and vocals, and Steven Reid, on drums, performed with as much energy and presence as a larger band, pulling the crowd forward. I was just getting used to their sound, when Fillingham stepped up the vocals, screaming the lyrics into the mic and hooking us in once again as we became comfortable and enticing anyone not already knee-deep in their sound.

And The Hangnails
And The Hangnails

And again, as I got used to this faster rhythm and increased volume, they altered the tempo and brought everything down to allow us to focus on Fillingham’s voice during a calm moment.

They demonstrated a professionalism which many Hull bands can learn from. Two men on stage, captivating the audience with such precision, making those alterations when we’d just begun to attach a specific sound to their name. This short set was a collection of their songs, including some newer ones, which demonstrated their diversity as musicians. We’d been talking only earlier in the night about how bands we’d grown up with had lost our favour because they’d changed their style, moving on when we weren’t prepared to. I’d commented that one thing I love about the Manic Street Preachers is that they have adapted to move with the times, developing their own style to suit them as they change through the course of life, admitting that there are albums I rarely listen to but adore simply because they are theirs. With And The Hangnail, this worked to keep the audience fresh.

Their last song was a full showcase of their talent, starting heavy and powerful, then mellowing to a rhythmic drumbeat and simple chords, ensuring the Fillingham’s voice was a fierce focal point on the stage, before jumping straight up again and concluding loudly.

Paul’s verdict on And The Hangnails was a difficult one. Having not considered that he’d already used up both of his thumbs, he settled with doubling up in order to offer four thumbs.

I knew he’d struggle further with the headlining band, as we’d both come out to see them and had been sat with them for a proportion of the night.

Streaming Lights
Streaming Lights

Playing tracks for their album ‘Kick’, as well as one of their “rocky ones from back in the day”, Streaming Lights performed with the energy and excitement I have come to expect from them. All three – Steve Minns on guitar and lead vocals, Ryan Gibbins on bass, and Chris Flynn on drums – were smiling throughout the set, at each other and out into the crowd. The sheer enjoyment of being on stage filtered through the room, and people stepped forward to dance in front of them.

It’s difficult not to repeat myself when reviewing a band I’ve seen recently before or spent time with. Streaming Lights put on a show as only they do, chatting with each other and the crowd, posing for pictures when the camera came around and throwing themselves about the stage.

Streaming Lights
Streaming Lights

I have said before that it’s saddened me to see them play to scattered crowds. The last time I’d seen them, they’d played during a meal at a charity ball, giving the energy to their music but not receiving much back as their audience was more interested in the food. They’d agreed that it was difficult to engage with this crowd. But this was not an issue as they headlined the Sesh, with eager fans moving and singing along. Yet, their banter was mostly negative. However laced with sarcasm, it struck me that if they are to knock themselves down then it offers others the opportunity.

Steven Minns - Streaming Lights
Steven Minns – Streaming Lights

I am a fan of Streaming Lights. I like that their sound is different – something you may not engage with straight away, but which grows on you quickly. I like their silliness, their drunken performances which are still perfectly executed. Though Steve consistently questioned Ryan as to which song was next, they launched into each song as a team and played them all with the velvetiness of their mastered tracks. I like that they are so energetic and eager, on and off stage.

Paul’s verdict was five thumbs up, though this was slightly biased and mostly based on his previous use of the system.

Overall, it was a fantastic night. I left the house giddy with anticipation, knowing it would be a good night. Magic Carpet Factory were really enjoyable. And The Hangnails had be hooked throughout, dragging me in if lethargy even winked in my direction. Streaming Lights were as wonderful as I could expect. I left The Polar Bear buzzing with the energy of the night, convinced that it was somewhat warmer.


Top 5 Browse Moments of 2014

This year has been a year of changes. A year where bridges have been mended and new friendships forged. I started a new school and joined the team of Browse Magazine.

Now, just before I look forward to the exciting newness of 2015, I’m going to look back over the last few months of 2014 – my time with Browse and the wonderful opportunities I’ve had while being a part of the team.

Photo by Luke Hallett
Photo by Luke Hallett

It started with Issue 004: MOTHER when I was asked to review the band COAVES as part of the weekly Sesh review. Three reviewers reviewing three bands; I was glad to get these guys. Their music is that wonderful mixture of sunny tunes, guitar-lead instrumentals and copious amounts of talent. Three confident singers, they come together to produce a sublime sound, and they’re never scared to try something new and admit when something doesn’t work.

Recently, I’ve been doing some more work with COAVES, who have competed in the Scunthorpe Rock Open and supported Pigeon Detectives at Fruit, and will be starting the year working with the band to promote their single ‘Waves’. They are certainly ones to look out for.

Photo by Stew Baxter, Warren Records
Photo by Stew Baxter, Warren Records

Another of my favourite Hull bands is LIFE, who featured on the front cover of issue 009. Published the same night as they performed with Kaiser Chiefs for the Adelphi 30 celebrations, we stated that that was the reason for featuring them – Black Delta Movement had received loads of press from the Hull Daily Mail, so we felt LIFE deserved a little bit too. In truth, our editor decided that if we got them in then Meg and I might stop going on about them so much. As if!

So, on top of reviewing them at the Adelphi 30 gig, Meg and I got to interview lead singer Mez and his guitarist brother Mick: our first videoed interview for the magazine. We’d both met them before at Press Pack and the interview felt much more like a chat than a Q&A, which was the perfect way to start off this additional role for the mag. We were both glad that there wasn’t the room for us to feature on the screen – the confidence for this would come later…

The Talks @ Welly

As time has progressed, I’ve taken on more and more at Browse. But issue 013 (unlucky for some) was one I felt particularly proud of. Our cover band were The Talks, an amazing ska band who I realised I had first seen perform on an episode of Hollyoaks! Working hard over the half term, I contacted the band for a text interview while they were touring Europe for their album launch, as well as writing the bio, an album review and then headed out on a schoolnight to review their hometown gig at the Welly. It was fantastic to work with them, pestering them to meet deadlines and then hugging a very sweaty Pat at the end of their gig.

And their album is one I play over and over. It’s fantastic for that Friday night feeling, when you’re physically destroyed after the working week but emotionally ready to go out and party for the weekend. Energetic tunes with meaningful lyrics – it’s easy to miss the message within the words, but you should listen to them carefully the next time you get a chance.

Photo by Chris Pepper
Photo by Chris Pepper

This leads me directly into the first time I featured on a video interview. As with issue 013, I took on writing the main features of issue 016: Black Delta Movement. Having annoyed myself at being too busy to interview Hillbilly Troupe in the previous issue, I was excited to be working with this band. I’d reviewed them as part of many of the festivals, the Adelphi 30 gig and as part of Hulloween, but I’d never reviewed them as the focal feature.

I’ve often felt the disadvantage of not being born and bred in Hull. I didn’t go to school with any member of the bands in the area – I’ve taught a couple – and often my face is just one of many in a crowd. But these lads didn’t care about that. Bass player Liam informed me that his mum reads all my stuff, and the pre-interview chat was comfortable and relaxed.

My confidence soared from this point; not just on-screen but generally in myself. I was at the point where I knew people were reading my stuff and offering me some positive feedback (always lovely to hear) and I was taking on more and more opportunities, putting myself out there and becoming a firm feature within the magazine.

Dan Mawer - La Bete Blooms

To pick a final feature is actually the hardest of them all. But I went with another band who I have interviewed and reviewed, now a couple of times. This feature was actually all a bit last minute for me. For issue 012, I met up with La Bête Blooms for a short video interview and a review of their EP launch at Fruit. Nobody else was free to interview, so I agreed. This was fine, all planned and going as expected. That was until I was informed that the person reviewing wasn’t able to make it. I turned to Luke, our photographer, and sagged at the concept of the late night before school. But I was there and it was due to finish before midnight – not too late.

I had listened to their tracks as part of the research for the interview, so I had an idea of what to expect. They’d mentioned that their live sound was quite different to their mastered and recorded stuff. But I was not in any way prepared for what I experienced in the intimate back room of Fruit. I commented that there is a beast within the band, and I stand by that. Dan Mawer is one of the nicest guys I have ever met: he never misses the chance to say hello if you’re in the same room as him, he always asks how the mag is doing, and his smile is the most positively charming sight you’ll see at the Sesh on a Tuesday. Then you throw a guitar his way and get him on that stage and you’re blinded by the transformation. That smile will be there at the start, but a guitar solo later and he is smashing the place up. I was amazed to see every mic stand upturned by the end of the set, and recall rushing home to write up my notes so that the review included everything I took from my first La Bête Blooms experience.

Four months of working for the magazine, now I can’t imagine my life without at least one gig a week and lists of artists I need to contact. My CD collection has taken on a strong Hull accent. My friends fall into two categories: those I gig with and those who listen to my constant reviews of gigs (even if they’ve just read it online).

I’ve always said you should start the year as you mean to go on. And so Browse Mag Sessions #2: NYE is the place I will be: alongside friends old and new, amidst writers, photographers, musicians and readers.

2015 sees a lot of new starts for me, but being a part of Browse is something I am pleased to say will continue. Here’s to more exciting experiences.

Black Delta Movement Single Launch 29.12.14

Though Black Delta Movement have existed for about 5 years, their sound is fresh to the ears. Poetic lyrics and powerfully mesmerising instrumentals, they slip into a mash of sub-genres: psychedelic rock, indie, garage, blues. It’s what makes them stand out from the crowd, as well as drawing people in.

Humber Street Sesh 2014
Humber Street Sesh 2014

2014 has been a busy year for the band. Signed with Ruby Music, they released their four-track EP ‘Ghost Dance’ in December, and the year will come to a conclusion with their single launch of “The Trip”.

A cover of Kim Fowley’s hit, originally written and produced in 1965, this song describes a psychedelic experience. A fast-paced, guitar-lead track, which encompasses the highs and lows of the 1970s: just as you drift off into the blissful instrumental, Matt Burr’s vocals slice through the instruments like a knife made of glass – the devil twisting your mind.

Fowley was once described as “a shadowy cult figure well outside the margins of the mainstream.” This too reflects the charismatic Black Delta Movement, who produce a sound on the outskirts of the indie music spectrum, delivering a different performance with each song. Though there are clear similarities to the original track, this is still very much their own composition.

And with support from Fire: The Unstoppable Force and The Evil Litter, the night is sure to be a cacophony of bizarre wonderment.

Advance tickets are £5, available from bandmembers with a limited amount at The Polar Bear. Doors open at 7:30, and an aftershow party will continue til 2am with a DIG Club Night/BDM DJ set.

An ideal way to let go after eating all those mince pies.


BDM single launch banner

Hulloween – Round Two – Saturday Night

An even more ‘dark and surreal’ night at The Polar Bear, with bands dressed in a  crazy range of attire.

Starting the night slightly later, and somewhat more relaxed, I arrived with a friend in tow just after 7pm. Black Kes were playing, dressed as a selection of horror movie themed costumes.

My friend still feeling somewhat dicey from the night before, we listened to the first two acts from the quiet of the Smoke Room, watching lads chuck pool balls around the table. From this location, we were able to spy on Coaves who had chosen the less crowded room to prepare for their set. We chatted as they blew up balloons and stuffed them in black bin liners, discussing the possibilities of their costume choice. We were in for a real surprise.

Felony - Sam Griffin & Marc Ainley
Felony – Sam Griffin & Marc Ainley

Felony were the band which drew us into the large room, standing close to the stage (as this time I had my camera ready). I’d spotted Marc Ainley dressed very smart with a long velour cloak, and worried that this second day of Halloween celebrations may feature costumes worn a second time or simply purchased in the sale section. Sam Howell seemed completely without costume, but his outfit was explained as him being “[Marc] from last year” who had not made an effort previously. So Sam had come as Marc, Marc had come as a wizard and Daniel Griffin was a speedy zombie on drums.

Marc Ainley tackles the issue of a hot stage in a cloak
Marc Ainley tackles the issue of a hot stage in a cloak

The performance was as smooth as Felony always are on stage, with tracks played from their debut album ‘Come Back Home’ and cheery conversation with the crowd. Marc was clearly having issues with his wizard cloak, as I had worried many of the bands may have with their costumes, and tested a range of ways in order to overcome this discomfort, often to the humour of the audience. The best moment was when he tried to deal with the heat on stage by throwing the cloak over his head and singing into the mic with his face veiled by the fabric. It looked brilliant, and sounded okay, but he couldn’t continue for the whole song in that manner. They admitted that not many of their songs are overly spooky, declaring ‘My Bad Dream’ as “probably the scariest song we do’.

Jon 'Santa' Calvert
Jon ‘Santa’ Calvert

Next up were Coaves, who decorated the stage before themselves. Stringing Halloween themed lights over the mic stands, I wondered where the balloons fit in. I was convinced that their costume was a coat of balloons, but knew that this would be impossible for them to play any of the guitars. And when they did come out, it was quite a shock to see their choice was not so much Halloween-themed as Christmas-themed. Four Santa’s throwing sacks of balloons into the audience, we were laughing and cheering before they even set foot back on the stage. The holiday theme range through their banter, as they offered their new song ‘Waves’ as a Christmas gift to us all and asked us to come in closer and look under the gift-wrap. There were still a few issues with the costumes, as Jordan van Beem ended with his red trousers around his ankles and Liam Foster declared himself the “sweatiest Santa”. Their best bit was the finale, when they grabbed cans of silly string and smothered the audience in the colourful decorations.

Santa Coaves - Jordan van Beem, Jon Calvert, Conor Maher & Liam Foster
Santa Coaves – Jordan van Beem, Jon Calvert, Conor Maher & Liam Foster

After their set, my friend and I ended up chatting to the members of Black Kes, who by this point were rather inebriated. Though their wardrobe choices stuck closest to the Halloween theme, they were perhaps not the most thoughtful. Coaves had shocked us and had the audience hooked as they used the theme within their performance. Besides, a sweaty Santa with his trousers down is kind of scary!

So were there to be an award for the best dressed band of the weekend, I would have to give it to Coaves. A wonderful effort which took the costumes that step further as they decorated both the stage and crowd. But for the most excitable band, I would award Black Kes, who were not disheartened when we admitted that we didn’t see their set and directed us to like them on Facebook (a deed I have done).

We stood with Black Kes and then chatted with one of the organisers, Mein Host / Martin Lewsley, as Mono Life took to the stage, getting a taste of what we can expect from next year’s Hulloween. I’m not very good at describing the sound engineered electronic dance music which he performed, but I am always amazed that one man can have so much energy on the stage. With a band you have a family, a comradery, whereby if there is a technical hitch or you miss something there is someone there to either help you out or make a joke of it so that it becomes a part of the performance. Nevertheless, Mono Life performed with a smile on his face, made rather frightening with the darkened eyes and scar drawn on his cheekbone, showing the true professionalism of performing music.

Tobias Reaper & The Graveyard Shift (AKA Black Delta Movement's Liam Kerman, Matt Burr, Jaconb Tillison, Dom Abbott)
Tobias Reaper & The Graveyard Shift (AKA Black Delta Movement’s Liam Kerman, Matt Burr, Jaconb Tillison, Dom Abbott)

The last band to perform were the mysterious Tobias Reaper & The Graveyard Shift. Otherwise known as Black Delta Movement. The clues had all been there, and I’d told my friend that I expected it to be the neo-psychedelia garage band. It’s only about a month since I last saw them perform, but I found I was excited about seeing them again, having felt like it had been a lot longer. As well as their own tracks, they performed a few covers, with Halloween-themed songs such as ‘Season of the Witch’ and ‘I Put A Spell On You’ which ended their setlist with a loud, energetic instrumental.

That wasn’t enough for the crowd however, and so an encore was called for. And to my joy, they chose to accept with a performance of my favourite BDM song ‘Butterfly’.

During this the laptop, which had played a very bizarre film in the background throughout the night, ran out of juice. Feeling similar myself, and resenting my decision to wear heels, I was glad to call it a night here. We hung around to find that I hadn’t won the framed Hulloween poster in the raffle and headed home.

The weekend of Hulloween has been amazing. Fantastic bands, good artwork, some very weird movies watched as a silent backdrop, and having met and chatted to so many different people. What I enjoy about venues like The Polar Bear is that they are laid out in a manner where groups can join and mingle, but more significantly are the welcoming people involved who willingly chat and discuss the event with you. Ideal for someone reviewing the celebrations, but also something which makes you want to go back.

I’ll not dish out any of the weird thoughts Lewsley shared with me about Hulloween 2015, and simply place my first preview here: make sure you attend at least one aspect of the event, as it will leave you feeling pleasantly creeped out.

Thank you to Martin Lewsley, Anna Bean and Lloyd Dobbs for organising the event and inviting me to discuss any questions I had. Also to the performers who gave some of their time to chat with me as well. And to everyone who attended either at the Union Mash Up or The Polar Bear, as they made the environment even more enjoyable.

It’s been a busy weekend attending both nights and venues, but one which I would happily do again.

A Change in the Tides; Hull’s Impact on my CD Rack

Everyone has their own go-to band; that one which you refer to when people ask who or what you’re into. Everyone has that song which takes them back in time to a better place, mostly because you only ever seem to listen to it when the world seems dark and unforgiving. And everyone has that party tune which perks them right back up.

Manic Street Preachers – insert in The Holy Bible, featuring images of the members as children.

I’ve always had the Manics in my life. They enveloped my teenage years and still are the most referenced name on my CD rack. I’ll collect their albums long into the time when CDs are museum pieces, because they are something I want to be able to hold in my hands, to pass on to my children and say ‘this was my childhood’. One of the songs from their first album is adorned on my back in a most permanent fashion. And yet, I am prone to flow with tides of change. Though they remain the raft I return to when the seas get choppy and uncertain, they feature less and less on playlists than they used to. My love for them is strong, but my need for them is no longer all-powerful.

Last year I was obsessed with Plan B, getting into rap for the first time since that one Eminem song I liked once. His music tells a story of modern life for so many, and, at the time, I needed to feel a passion like that which vibrated from my stereo. I had lost my mojo and I was seeking it out in the only place I felt confident to find it: music.

After Plan B, it was OneRepublic. My song of 2014 is probably their hit Love Runs Out. Again, Ryan Tedder is a fantastic poet. He was the one who’d written most of the songs I heard on the radio, where I would say that I didn’t particularly like the performer but the song was amazing. That one song – that was Ryan Tedder’s. time and time again.

And then I attended Press Pack and started writing for Browse Magazine. I’d decided that I wanted to do some more writing and I expected that there would be a spattering of both local, national and international talent which pooled across the pages of my blog. It didn’t really matter anyway, as I was writing for myself and not anyone else.

Ricky Wilson at the Adelphi30 gig – Friday 3rd October 2014

And then I wasn’t just writing for myself and I had followers and deadlines.

And I was writing about local, national and international acts. Toploader played the Trinity Festival, a free festival set in the picturesque grounds of Trinity Square. And in the same week I got press pass to see Kaiser Chiefs perform at another iconic spot, The Adelphi. I was there alongside other journalists and I was playing about with my photography, honing skills I didn’t even consider needing until the moment when I was told photographs were a necessity to any decent article.

Now my CD rack still features the name Manic Street Preachers more than any other band. But atop their collection, I have a new assembly of musical joys. Just as I have a ‘Hull Tunes’ playlist now on my computer, which is my first port of call for musical ambience when doing just about anything, I have a collaboration of CDs from Hull artists. Tom Skelly, Hillbilly Troupe and Streaming Lights sit above Plan B and even my first love from Hull, The Beautiful South.

The Hillbilly Troupe

When I need a quick pick-me-up, I will turn to the joy of The Hillbilly Troupe, knowing that I’ll know all the lyrics and the energy from their last gig will overtake any negativity in my heart. If I need a physical shake then I can trust Counting Coins will have me perform a one-woman mosh-pit in my living room, sparking adrenaline rushes and pumping endorphins around my blood stream. When I need something to chill me out and allow me to focus mostly on my work – the dull reminder of needing an ‘adult responsibility’ – I switch Tom Skelly or Jody McKenna on, with their poetic lyrics and melodies.

Hull is slowly but surely digging its way into my very soul, and turning me from small town girl, holding onto a loose connection with Wales in order to ensure that link with the Manics, to a city girl who wants to scream at anyone who questions this wonderful place I call my home. I’ll spend my weekends, and often weekdays, at gigs in a former fruit market or a local bar supporting local talents, rather than paying to watch someone perform at a huge venue.

At the Adelphi30 gig where I saw the Kaiser Chiefs, I was more excited about having a chat with Paul Jackson and finally getting to speak with Black Delta Movement’s Matt Burr than I was about touching the sweaty body of Ricky Wilson. Don’t get me wrong, it was ridiculously exciting to get the opportunity, but when the end of the night came I was singing Life’s Crawling and smiling at the gentleness with which Jacko spoke with my friend and me. These are the things I will share with my children, when my eyes will brighten and my soul will shine.

I want to share Hull’s music with the world. I want to support our bands and promote them and give them that platform they deserve. But I also kind of want to keep them for myself a little bit, ensuring I have that much more real connection.

Humber Street Sesh 2nd August 2014

The tagline “A festival for the people by the people” sums up this Hull festival, which showcases the city’s local talent through music, art and voice. 2012 saw the first Street Sesh, marking the 10th anniversary of ‘The Sesh’, a weekly night of local music and talent held at The Linnet & Lark, Princes Avenue. Three years later saw the introduction of a £3 wristband required for admittance, with free wristbands for under 11s. That 3 little coins opening the gateway to over 150 music acts; a string of DJs, dance acts and performances; entry to the Cult Cinema; a variety of local cuisines; and a collection of local art work from pencil drawing to giant graffiti pieces.

Humber Street Sesh has everything to offer, for people of all ages, and is an all-day event which doesn’t get dull.

I arrived, friend in tow, at around 11am. A vibrant buzz of activity could be heard as we passed The Deep, a  collection of sounds from the Rock and Dance stages. Humber and Wellington Street were busy but not heaving – just right if you want to stroll around and get your bearings. Artwork had begun – some of the prep work had naturally occurred in the late hours of Friday night – with a knitted welcome and some sketches on the walls. We wandered around, taking everything in, stopping at 12:30 to watch a show from Team Extreme, showcasing skateboarders, bladers and BMXers. This was a popular event throughout the day, with crowds gathering to show their support and awe.

We grabbed some lunch, and listened to the first band of the day (for us): The Craig Dearing Band, performing on Cosmo Stage. The rain was drizzling at this point, and the sound of guitars and cajón developed a thick atmosphere, not quite liquid but a humid sense of calm as you listened to the instrumental openings to each song. The song Bones, stuck with me: the introduction was haunting, giving you a real sense of the talent between these four men which was then pierced by Dearing’s sharp and distinctive voice. The chorus sings “I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my toes…” and this just about sums up their music – it isn’t something you hear but something you sense. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Unfortunately, some time after this the heavens decided to open to their full, in order to demonstrate that whatever level of preparation I go to, it is never enough. Bring your festival mac, I thought, in case it rains. Well did it rain! So, I had to take a break and head back home to change from a sodden set of clothes to a cleaner, warmer set, ready to take on the evening festivities.

We returned just after 6pm, and headed straight to the main stage, named Spiders from Mars after David Bowie’s backing band which featured Mark Ronson, also of Hull origin.

The first band we saw on the headlining stage was Life, a 4-piece punk band consisting of brother Mez (lead vocals & guitar) and Mick (vocals & guitar), alongside Loz (bass) and Rich (drums). Their SoundCloud site only has two songs on it, but, credit where credit is due, these were produced by former Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson and both tracks echo classic punk reminiscent of The Clash and Ramones. Life have that eclectic mix of well-played instruments, memorable lyrics, and enough stage presence to take your mind away from the fact that they had some technical difficulties. Mez spent most of his time playing the audience, and this worked wonderfully, as he delved into the crowd and took control of the stage.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Up next were The Hubbards, a band consisting of Reuben, Alex, Ronan and Joe. A softer sound after Life, where vocal and music became entwined into a very fluid sound. Playing to such a large audience, you could feel everyone relaxing and enjoying the music, simply taking everything in. It was too easy to compare them to Life, who took the stage in a storm, whereas these lads were calm about the delivery of their music, gently teasing the audience and telling their story through song. Something very different, not entirely unique, but with a place alongside the likes of Sam Smith, whose songs are like deep narratives.


One of the bands I was thrilled to see live were Black Delta Movement, who recently supported The Stranglers at Hull City Hall. On Facebook, they refer to themselves (themselves being Matt, Dom, Liam & Jacob) as neo-psychedelia, Garage and Rock ‘n’Roll, all of which can clearly be heard as influences on their music, though I would not place them specifically in any of these boxes. Which is what drew me quickly into their music, as it was matchless as a whole with undertones of the familiar. You felt secure in the knowledge that you would enjoy the next song while the previous one came to a close, so that the anticipation which can often build up to an anti-climax within a live gig was not there. As with The Hubbards, they created sound from sound, making it work in a whole new tide, only with Black Delta Movement the lyrics were sharp, both separating from and enhancing the atmosphere created by the instruments.


Which leads me to the band I was really there to see. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all the singers and bands we saw, from the acoustic Buskers stage to Spiders From Mars, but we were there, at that stage at that time, to see these guys…


Counting Coins consists of Harry Brumby on lead vocals, Matty Dennison on bass/guitar, Rob Green on bass/guitar, Sam Burnham on drums and Will Chalk on trumpet. Yes, trumpet. They were also joined by Adam Thompson on trombone, adding a whole extra layer to their sound. I first saw these guys last year at the Freedom Festival when we were unable to get into The 1975’s stage area. Best thing that happened at that festival – instead we bounced our way through 40 minutes of Counting Coins in the middle of the street. And bounce is the only way to describe the reaction to these guys. A mixture of jazz sounds from the brass instruments, Ska and punk as well as just simply hypnotising bass beats – nobody can stand still in their presence. From the first note, you are moving; perhaps slowly swaying at first, but by the end of the first song your feet have left the floor numerous times as you bounce to the beat. 30 minutes on stage, and it felt both too quick and much longer. These guys take their influences from anything that grabs their attention, and delve into a crazy world of energy and electricity. Like a good wine, once you’ve had a taste of them you never go back to the other stuff; you get the same feeling of sheer joy and buzz from any Counting Coins set, and Brumby mentioned on social media networks later in the evening that he should have been more tired but was pumped by the reaction from the audience. Counting Coins are an all-round good show. They will have your nana dancing in the street alongside your youngest niece and nephew. I urge you to get your fix as soon as possible (live is better than anything you can find on YouTube, but you get the idea here).

And so, another Humber Street Sesh is over. Does that mean you need to wait another year to experience what I experienced this past weekend? NO! Because most of the bands are also playing Freedom Festival in just over 4 weeks time.

I’ll be there.


Check out all the bands featured in this blog on Facebook & Twitter:

Craig Dearing Band – https://www.facebook.com/Craig88Dearing https://twitter.com/Craig88Dearing

Life – https://www.facebook.com/lifebanduk https://twitter.com/lifebanduk

The Hubbards – https://www.facebook.com/thehubbardsband?fref=ts https://twitter.com/thehubbards

Black Delta Movement – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Black-Delta-Movement/151667951525742?fref=ts https://twitter.com/BDMofficial

Counting Coins – https://www.facebook.com/CountingCoins?fref=ts https://twitter.com/counting_coins