Quite how it’s October already is beyond me but as ever the tenth month of the year provides a plethora of live action. With bands having finally rid themselves of the festival mud, they’re back in the splitter vans and back on the road. Picking six gigs was a hefty challenge with so many great acts playing the city in the coming weeks but decisions had to be made. So here you have it, my top picks for October; head out and give your ears a treat.
Electro pop combo Letters To Fiesta not only leapt into 2013 with new sounds but with a new line-up to boot. Keen to always retain that sense of versatility and not limit themselves in any way, they’ve always teetered on the outskirts of the Manchester music sphere; never confining themselves to one particular scene. And this adaptability is what makes their fragmented, futuristic blend of post-punk most exciting.
Mixing ambient guitars with brisk synths and gaily manic vocals, theirs is a sound that is both tough and celestial. Vocalist Anna-Louisa Etherington having been likened to Kate Bush on many occasions in her, at times, unhinged deliverance, has also cited collective influences in the likes of Radiohead, Arcade Fire and Grimes.
Newcastle five-piece, Lanterns on The Lake recently returned with sophomore ‘Until The Colours Run’ following the success of their debut record ‘Gracious Tide. Take Me Home’. But following a period of personal and financial turmoil as well as line-up changes, their future hanged in the balance.
Newly reincarnated and detailed arrangements aplenty, tracks are suffused with flourishing strings and sweeping percussion. Ever the masters of the crescendo, their sound draws you in; intimate and ethereal. Front-woman Hazel Wilde’s enchanting vocal with dashes of piano and tambourine are intricate and affecting. And with the added affectionate surroundings of the Deaf Institute music hall, you’ll definitely leave with a warm glow inside.
West Country boys yet nurtured in Leeds, Fun Adults combine off-kilter pop melodies and percussive arrangements with classic song writing craft. True music DIY-ers, the four-piece, refreshingly, don’t feel they belong to any particular genre or scene. They first drew attention when posting the porcelain textures and angular electronic shuffle of ‘Til Sleep’ on their SoundCloud earlier this year.
Juxtaposing delicate, painstakingly complex, arrangements with pop-like sensibilities, their not shy in considering their music to be ‘pop music’. Texture and rhythm playing a big part in their sound, they mix dense sounds with luminous melodies and provide a most intriguing live experience.
Ruen Brothers are (unsurprisingly) two young brothers from Scunthorpe who have made it their business to immerse themselves in sixties pop. A love of Roy Orbison and The Stones coupled with Phil Spector’s wall of sound and modern production sees the duo breath fresh live into what is arguably the greatest period in modern British music.
Twanging guitars, heart-stopping theatrics and sharp suits are the name of the game; their reinvention of early 60’s beat music is instantly endearing. And after years of covers ranging The Hollies and Johnny Cash to Kings of Leon and The Killers, they now strike out on their own.
Dancing Years are a Leeds based band made up of David Henshaw (vocals), Joseph Lawrenson (piano), Dan Fielding (electric guitar), Dominic Butler (violin), Joe Semple (accordion) & Sam Murray (drums). What began as a simple piano-guitar duo in 2009 gradually evolved into a multifarious six-piece.
Their live performances have seen the band gather an increasing amount of acclaim as a result of multiple UK headline tours, a UK tour in support of Benjamin Francis Leftwich and shows supporting the likes of James Vincent McMorrow, Dry the River, Stornoway, Foy Vance and Lone Wolf.
Think; calming stillness, explosive euphoria and rich instrumentation with lyrical clout and copious tugs on your heartstrings.
Bored and working as a teaching assistant, Daniel Woolhouse started a new project in late 2010, recorded a few demos and posted them online. Within days, music blogs cottoned on, and Deptford Goth became an internet sensation. Resisting the temptation to dive in head first, he took his time and waited until earlier this year to release his translucent, stoical debut ‘Life After Defo’. Beautifully convoluted and notably intimate, the record was ardently received across the board with praise steeped on Woolhouse’s ability to merge the dark and light. With influences coming from a wide range of places including contemporary R&B, Active Child and Bon Iver, he describes his music as “somewhere between real and synthetic”. The emotional impact of his music however, is about as human as it gets. Prepared to be seduced by his tender and aching melancholy.