As Leeds reneges its intent on being the A&R capital of Europe, the best thing to come out of all this is that those who were there BK (Before the Kaisers) can get back to what they've been doing since... their time began, I guess. That is, making great pop records.
Nikoli are one of those bands whose music hasn't suffered as a result of Londonitis. Instead, 'Stay Safe Tonight' merely illustrates a consistency many of their more lauded songwriting peers would kill their grandmothers for.
If it's morose melancholia you want then CHECK! 'Gently Talk Me Down' is where it's at for you. Maybe a nostalgia trip via Manchester '88 with added soul is your bag? Then 'Locked Out' would be right up your street. Whatever takes your pick though, I challenge anyone not to be overwhelmed by the luscious, swaying tones of 'Always', a delightful cobblestone waltz that is part Smiths in spirit but overtly situated on the brighter side of the moors.
There's a new white rose movement ahead and Nikoli may represent the last bastions of the old guard, but the forefront of the next batallion is surely theirs for the taking.
8Dom Gourlay's Score