Tiny Pop Presents... You're a Pop - Leeds, Fox & Newt - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Tiny Pop Presents... You're a Pop - Leeds, Fox & Newt

by Andy Brown Rating:9 Release Date:2011-11-16

It’s August and the young and the beautiful are gallivanting around the city centre, happily humming the Lovin’ Spoonful ‘Summer in the City’ while daydreaming about a long hot summer. Sat, lazily whiling the hours away in the local parks and open air swimming pools.

Except, this is Yorkshire and while a close, sticky heat hangs in the air it absolutely pisses it down outside. Thunder claps over-head like a scene from Wuthering Heights while I stand in the Fox & Newt, gulping my pint down in the vain hope that the repeated consumption of alcohol may cool me down a little.

Yet none of this really matters at all as it’s time for the ninth Tiny Pop Presents gig- things are about to get sweaty.

The evening starts with this month’s pop-up band, You’re a Pop. The two-piece consist of Tiny Pop organiser Rachael Rix-Moore and Alan Ladd (who’s come over from Belfast just to play). This month’s temporary band serve as a tribute to Rachael’s prolific indie-pop band, You’re a Face. The duo start with a selection of You’re a Face songs including a short ode to a pigeon and a song about a melancholy squirrel. There’s a lo-fi, playing-for-the-fun-of-it vibe that these Tiny Pop gigs specialise in and an unforced charm to each indiepop nugget. 

As is tradition they play a couple of covers, starting with Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’. The song works a treat in its stripped back, vulnerable state but it’s a song from a well-known Leeds band that really steals the show. The band play The Wedding Present’s ‘I’m From Further North than You’- dedicating the performance to a time Rix-Moore saw David Gedge wondering around Paris and the fact that a friend in the audience will be moving there in a matter of days. It’s a tight family unit here at Tiny Pop.

The duo finishes their set with a brilliantly energetic cover of Trapdoor Minotaur’s ‘Alans Panic’. Trapdoor Minotaur was yet another of Rix-Moores bands and the song itself was written in tribute to Alan Ladd. The sweaty but happy crowd provide the songs chorus (gleefully shouting ‘Alan!’) bringing an ace set to a suitably fun conclusion.

There’s a significant shift in the vibes with the arrival of Myrr. The three piece start with a skeletal, post-rock crawl with spoken-word vocals and an intense, gripping atmosphere. It reminds me of San Francisco post-punks, Enablers and maybe even a little of the mighty Slint.  The intensity steadily builds, a wall of laptop noise growling in the background while the band exchange instruments mid-song. The guitarist adds subtle, glistening lead work and the whole thing has turned into some kind of cosmic space jam. There’s no real breaks during the set, the performance feeling like one, epic, doom-laden, experimental piece. As always the diversity on display at Tiny Pop is impressive.

Tonight’s final set introduces me to yet another local talent I was previously unaware of, Deadwall. Their unassuming singer has a soft, barely there voice that adds a palatable fragility to the songs indie-rock structures. A few songs seem to take more than a few musical hints from The Cure, the immersive repetition of ‘A Forest’ in particular. Early on the band asks the crowd to gather a little closer to the stage, the sweaty mass gladly obliging (can’t hurt to get warmer now as everyone’s sweating buckets from simply standing and watching). The band put in a subtle, quietly thrilling set that leaves me wanting to hear more. Luckily, there’s an album out soon.

It’s hard to believe this has been the ninth Tiny Pop Presents gig and against a backdrop of the changing seasons they’ve remained consistently diverse and surprising. Bring on Septembers gig!

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