Mother VulpineEdit this event
It’s weird. We’ve all heard (and sniggered at) the one about New Yorkshire, but tonight that phrase seems appropriate in a way its scene-mongering creators couldn’t possibly have intended. As two of Leeds’ freshest-faced great white indie hopes, Sky Larkin (pictured) and Mother Vulpine form part of a new generation of ambitious young musicians from across the country descending on the city as the cultural mecca they read about in the national press. New Yorkshirese, if you like.
** The Acutes** don’t fit that particular bill, having been on the scene for a few years now, but are still deserving of a page in Leeds’ post-Kaisers renaissance story. They’re a (Scouse) two-piece that crafts a shonky lo-fi racket with a beating heart of sheer pop wonderment. Frontman Dave mangles his vowels like a hillbilly Michael Stipe and plays rollicking chord runs given weird propulsion by Matt’s superb, choreographed-falling-down-the-stairs drums. Having crashed the proverbial pop party early on with the indelible, ham-fisted funk of ‘Set On You’, they make a beeline for the dodgy-looking punch producing a string of aces, with Dave’s flair for a succinct vocal melody coming to the fore especially on newbie ‘Sunshine’ which suggests the band has plenty in the tank for 2007.
In case you hadn’t heard, Mother Vulpine have been causing quite a stir round these parts of late. Barely six months into their careers and already they’re a formidable live prospect, a seething mass of frenzied drums and drunk-ass riffage that comes at you like (deep breath for the token Tolkien reference) the advancing hordes of Sauron. Course, these guys are too savvy to crib from such hoary old source material and have actually cited Angela Carter as an influence for their dark fairytale vibe. Which sort of makes them the post-feminist Led Zep’, I suppose._ ‘We’ll Be Detectives For The Day’ _is their best tune, packing in a riff harder than Josh Homme’s clenched hairy buttocks. It’s basically psychosis set to a racing, disco-punk pulse. Their set is heavy as a black hole and roughly as inescapable, but it’s also lithe and sexy, with one foot lodged firmly on the dancefloor. At heart Mother Vulpine are about rock ‘n’ roll - the testifying variety - and tonight they sing like a bird.
All of which flapping nonsense brings us neatly onto Sky Larkin, whose discordant pop has the potential to underwhelm slightly after such a precision onslaught. Tonight’s their gig, a Dance To The Radio single launch for their debut 7” ‘One of Two’, and nerves are understandably fraying in what has rapidly become a packed house. They needn’t be – Sky Larkin win the audience over on their own eccentric terms. The single is great: discordant in a dreamily insistent kinda way, with the guitar stripped of the boring layers of distortion that so often go with the territory. Melodic post-hardcore with the sphincter relaxed. Katy’s voice is terrific, too – piercing, fragile, not-quite-pretty, it throws the band’s performance into sharp relief and provides a natural focal point. Theirs is a surprisingly self-contained set, billowing and insubstantial like the clouds, showing just enough to suggest these larks will just keep on ascending.
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