Blank Realm - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Blank Realm - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK

by Andy Brown Rating:10 Release Date:2012-04-08

Brisbane Australia’s Blank Realm is on tour promoting this year’s fantastic Grassed Inn LP. The band consists of three siblings, Daniel (vocals & drums), Sarah (keytar & vocals), and Luke Spencer (bass) as well as guitarist Luke Walsh. The band have garnered quite a formidable live reputation; known for their infectiously energetic psych-pop shenanigans which have seen them blaze a joyously technicolor trail through Australia’s underground scene.

The night starts with energetic York-based trio, Fawn Spots. This band specialise in punk rock which owes a debt to the spirit of early 80s hardcore, noisy ‘college-rock’ and the melodic thrust of The Buzzcocks.

The singer is drenched in sweat early on as they pile into each furiously-paced tune, playing with an admirable wild-eyed intensity. There’s not a whole lot of variation in their sound, most songs setting off at top speed and building until they screech to a halt, yet Fawn Spots could never be accused of half- heartedness.

The crowd at the Brudenell gets considerably larger as it’s time for tonight’s second act, Leeds’ very own hometown heroes Hookworms. Hookworms are one of those bands that have become ever more impressive with each live performance, constantly evolving and perfecting their sound.

And what an incredible sound that is, pulsating Krautrock grooves married to strung-out psychedelia and DIY/punk-rock idealism. All this played at a volume only Swans could hope to exceed. The band play a set littered with new material as well as treating us to firm live favourites ‘Away/Towards’ and ‘Teen Dreams’. Everything’s in the red for the entire set, and it’s as thrilling as ever.

While tonight’s support acts are known for their intense live performances, it’s up to headliners Blank Realm to really bring the party. From the first song, co-vocalist Sarah Spencer bounces around the stage, hair flying everywhere as she hammers out superbly off-kilter lines on her trusty keytar (when was the last time you saw someone play one of those live?!).

Daniel Spencer sings from behind his drum-kit, propelling the band’s undeniably catchy yet clearly insane songs ever-forward. They’ve been around a while and I can’t help but wonder why I’ve not come across them before. I’ve really, really been missing out.

Blank Realm are a party band for people who need a little more than a straight-forward tune to get their teeth into. Walsh proves to be an incredibly versatile and inventive guitarist, his fingers flying up and down the frets with reckless abandon throughout the bands set. New album tracks such as ‘Reach You on the Phone’ and ‘Falling Down the Stairs’ sound even more joyously anarchic live, a wonderful mess of pop-hooks and a ‘fuck it, let’s dance’ attitude.  

I leave grinning and clutching a copy of their new record. The songs bounce around my head for days after. This is how pop music should be.

Comments (4)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Good Review Andy. One of the great things about Aussie punk/rock is that it is always danceable, because the underlying sense of pop.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I'll send you a copy of the recent New Christs album 'incantations' you'd love it or try searching for it. Rob

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Thanks!

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Will look them up, ta!

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