Suuns - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Suuns - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

by Andy Brown Rating:9 Release Date:2013-04-08

Suuns have been leaving mouths agape since releasing their sultry yet sinister debut LP Zeroes QC in 2010. They've gathered quite a besotted following in a relatively short space of time. I'll confess that despite the plaudits, I hadn't actually heard much by Suuns until earlier tonight.

A quick listen to their two current records reveals a band which requires further investigation; a sound that wants to engage your intelligence as well as shake your bones. When you're watching Suuns live however, this steady sense of intrigue rockets skywards towards starry-eyed levels of awe. I really have been missing out.

Before Suuns can blow down my already well-worn doors of perception, we get a set from art-pop duo Valleys. Valley's, like tonight's headliners, herald from Montreal but are a completely different prospect. Singer Tillie Perks plays ethereal soundscapes on synths while Marc St Louis plays guitar.

The songs are really poppy and at times undeniably charming. The problem comes when their pop leanings veer dangerously close to cheesy, montage music. Eighties electro-pop influences can be pretty tricky to successfully navigate and, while it's not a sound I'm necessarily averse to, it doesn't really work for Valley's tonight.

Before Suuns walk on stage, the sound engineer treats us to the sounds of Montreal based experimental types, Jerusalem in My Heart. Their intense, Arabic-influenced drones perfectly set the scene for Suuns imminent arrival (and adds yet another band to my 'must investigate' pile). Suuns open with the penultimate track from Images Du Futur, the magnificently brooding 'Music Won't Save You'. It's almost impossible to hear Ben Shemie's teeth-gritted vocal delivery without thinking of Liverpudlian psych legends Clinic. Suuns music sits up there with the surgery-mask wearing icons most intense work too.

Suuns music is strange, propulsive and darkly hypnotic, with very few moments of calm inbetween the tension-racked beats and manic guitar-lines. Recent single '2020' sounds even more unhinged live, it's space-age, and down-right mental, riff bursting from the speakers with admirable energy and purpose. 'Edie's Dream' clearly belongs on a David Lynch film, with its slowly building nocturnal soundscapes and trance like qualities. 'Pie IX' sounds like the soundtrack to some dystopian future, a cyber-clubbing scene in the greatest sci-fi extravaganza never made.

There are elements of Radiohead's The King of Limbs-era material and certainly shades of Clinic, but there's no doubting the band's unique vision and unflinching conviction. The band come back for an encore to rapturous roars of approval. They play the brilliantly motorik, keyboard-led 'Arena' before leaving us grinning and reeling from what just happened. If you haven't seen Suuns live, you really are missing out.

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