Wooden Shjips / Uprights / Hookworms - The Brudenell Social Club - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Wooden Shjips / Uprights / Hookworms - The Brudenell Social Club

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Here we are, Sunday evening in The Brude, the best music venue in Leeds. I forgot to bring any money so I am on the council pop. Good start.

First up we have Hookworms. This young set-up are riding on the wave of new psychedelic-rock and I was excited to see what they would come up with when I saw a full table of synth toys and effects pedals. They kicked of their short set with some great energy. I really enjoyed their sound, it was lush and straight to the point; however, I don't like sirens for sirens sake. There was a lot of noise that just wasn't needed. Also, at times, the vocals were a little karaoke and out of place. When watching the vocalist flailing about in a thick jumper he looked very flushed; I guess it's all in the name of fashion but I hope he was keeping well hydrated. Despite these unsatisfying factors I was impressed with Hookworms overall. What's not to like? Progressive riffs, underwater sounds and moments that were reminiscent of a Rolf Harris wobble board all left me craving one more song.

Second band of the evening is Uprights. The Brudenell is starting to fill up by this point but a technical problem sets them off to a shaky start. As soon as they got out on the stage I spotted the lead's t-shirt, as you do. He was branded with an amazing Cramps number and I was immediately green with envy, The Cramps obviously being an influence to this bands sound. Uprights weren't an obvious choice on tonight's bill but it broke things up a bit. Think of a post-grunge, early Foo Fighters, rockabilly hybrid with an Irish limerick thrown in. They were great, but unfortunately I think 80 per cent of people in the room were waiting for the main act.

Finally, Wooden Shjips arrive on stage, against all odds - not even a volcano can stand in their way. Here we have four men, with lots of luscious facial hair, who have been rightly named as the foremost purveyors of droning psychedelia. Wooden Shjips are firmly influenced by free-spirited musicians of the 60s/70s; they produce layers upon layers of crazy noise that takes you to a sunny Californian day without the aid of hallucinogens. Looking around I could see this scene is really 'in fashion' at the moment, clearly a side-affect of the current shoegaze revivalism. There are a lot of musos here looking to be taken on a journey and I didn't think I would like it. I have the attention span of a two-week-old monkey so I presumed I would get bored. One progressive eight minute song seamlessly encompasses another and if you try and predict where the next groove is going you will lose every time. After this gig, I am sold.

If your brain was damaged in the 60s/70s with the aid of acid-soaked pysch-rock the sound of Wooden Shjips should come with a health warning. If you are riding the wave of shoegaze to dizzy new heights then this is where you want to be. The set we witnessed had the exact right ratio of highs and lows. A highlight for me was the cover of 'Vampire Blues' by Neil Young. An amazing tribute to what's proven, again and again, to be a timeless era.

Emma Stafford

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