British Wildlife Festival - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

British Wildlife Festival - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

It's been a while since Soundblab caught up with Trumpets of Death, or Benjamin Wetherill and the Trumpets of Death as they used to be, and they've moved a long way from the Radiohead mixed with 'Geno' era Dexy's Midnight Runners sound they were rocking back then. Having fully absorbed singer/multi-instrumentalist Wetherill into their line-up, TOD now sound like a cross between Low-era Bowie, Gong, 'In Every Dream a Heartache' by Roxy Music and the splitting headache Genesis P Orrige wakes up with every morning. Their set elides between droning works of atonal dirge and Kurt Weill style knees up ditties which bump and shronk while everything turns to shit. It sounds pretty improvised but the shifts and sudden lurches hint that TOD are actually incredibly tight, rehearsed musicians. If you're a fan of wonderfully, shockingly weird music then this is a band you need to check out. They've been knocking around for a while, but TOD are now at the height of their powers.

Juffage plays his set tonight sans shoes (which is normal) and minus his effect peddles, drums and box of tricks, which is probably a misstep. The last time Soundblab checked this singer-songwriter out, we concluded that the music was great but the man himself was a little smug. It's an assessment which Soundblab (okay, okay - I) would probably reverse this time around. The Juff is engaging and funny as he tunes up and tries to sell us Juffage mugs. However, without the sonic trickery which keeps his music surprising and makes him fun to watch, this is pretty standard one-man-and-his-guitar troubadour stuff and just a little dull. It seems Juffage may feel the same way, as his set is pretty brief, although maybe he just decided it wasn't worth competing with the people chatting at the back.

To the main room, then, for Three Trapped Tigers, who are here to play a set heavy on material from their forthcoming debut album. There's a change in their sound, however. Maybe it's down to having a stand-in guitarist or maybe it's something more substantial, but tonight's set is light on gloopy, spacey synth and heavy on widdling, twiddling math-metal guitar shredding. It's not great, and it kind of goes back on TTT's mission statement - to make intelligent dance music with live instruments. At times tonight, it's more like being at a Muse gig, which is just not what we want from this highly promising band. Let it be a blip, please.

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