Tiny Pop Presents.... The Moz Pops - The Cardigan Arms, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Tiny Pop Presents.... The Moz Pops - The Cardigan Arms, Leeds

by Andy Brown Rating:10 Release Date:2012-01-22

Tonight will be the first and final gig for West Yorkshire’s premier Morrissey/The Smiths covers band, The Moz Pops. It’s all part of Trapdoor Minotaur’s Rachael Rix-Moore’s eccentric masterplan: to be in 13 different ‘pop-up’ bands during 2015. Each band will be afforded a few practices before venturing out into gig-land to perform a one-off, first and final show.

Each band will relate to a band from Rix-Moore’s past, this month’s act being a tribute to the short-lived Mozo. Last month’s umbrella-wielding support slot for Das Pain saw Rix-Moore drumming in The Po!p, a tribute to her old band The Jack Duckworth Experience. As you can probably tell, it’s an ambitious project and not one too concerned with taking itself seriously. The gigs fall under the banner of Tiny Pop Presents and will be happening every month this year across Leeds.

I’ve seen some pretty great gigs at The Cardigan Arms, with the likes of The Bitter Tears, Cowtown, Broken Arm, and the Piss Superstition all making appearances. I hadn’t been there in years, though, and initial signs can be a little misleading.

The downstairs bar resembles some terrifying school disco with two massive speakers playing some Radio 1, Friday night fodder at wall-shaking volumes. But hold on, venture upstairs and through a door that says ‘Ladies’ and (as if you’re walking through some magical lavatory-themed wardrobe) you’ll find the same gig room there’s always been. It’s a sanctuary from the disco below and tonight’s venue.  

Before The Moz Pops can indulge us with a set of girl-pop renditions of Morrissey tunes, we’re treated to a set from The Three Amigos. The band is in fact just Carrie Beth and Sarah Bradley, a duo that specialise in ukulele covers of rock and pop favourites, giving them a twee-pop makeover in the process. Tonight’s choices include the likes Iron Maidens ‘Run to the Hills’ and Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’ (who knew that iconic riff would sound so good on a ukulele?!). It’s clearly done for fun but the covers work really well, especially a closing version of Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’.

The Moz Pops look the part, with gladiolas sticking out of the lead singers back pocket, some temporary quiffs and a Smiths Hatful of Hollow t-shirt all on display. There are ukulele-led renditions of ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’, ‘Ouija Board Ouija Board’, and The Smiths' ‘Ask’. Morrissey will be playing Leeds First Direct Arena next month but will it really be as fun these uke-punk girl-group tributes?

In the spirit of the Tiny Pop Presents project, the band only allowed themselves three practices (a fourth was booked in but cancelled), while co-conspirator/organiser Alice Rix-Moore confesses that this will actually be the first time she’s played bass on stage. The band ends on an original song, the self-described Morrissey/Bikini Kill hybrid ‘Lipstick Massacre’, bringing their short-lived but immaculate career to a joyously shouty conclusion. It’s a brilliantly ramshackle set of uke-Moz magic and it’ll never happen quite like this again.  

The night ends with a set from Penny & The Sausages. Yorkshire’s ultimate party-rock covers band see us through with a set that includes storming renditions of Blondie's ‘Hanging on the Telephone’, The Primitives ‘Crash’, and the Ghostbusters theme (Come on, who doesn’t love that?). The atmosphere feels like you’ve gate-crashed someone’s wedding do and it finishes the second Tiny Pop Presents gig of the year on a suitably fun, unpretentious note.

I don’t know what next month’s Tiny Pop Presents gig will be like but it’s sure to be worth a look and it's sure to be fun. Remember, each of Rix-Moore's 13 bands will only have one gig before splitting up - catch them while you can. 

Get involved here: https://www.facebook.com/tinyPOPpresents?fref=ts

Read about January's gig here: http://soundblab.com/reviews/gigs/6958-das-pain-leeds-fox-newt-january-30-2015

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