Tiny Pop Presents... Star Trek vs Corrie - Leeds, Fox & Newt - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Tiny Pop Presents... Star Trek vs Corrie - Leeds, Fox & Newt

by Andy Brown Rating:10 Release Date:

Last year drummer extraordinaire Rachael Rix-Moore set out to form and perform with 13 different pop-up bands. A monthly night under the banner of Tiny Pop Presents was born, with the likes of The Seven Inches, The Scaramanga Six and The Helicopter Quartet playing sets alongside each pop-up band.  It was an absolute blast and a genuine shame that it all, inevitably, had to come to an end.

Yet, thankfully, this wasn’t really the end as Rix-Moore was already busy plotting her next move. 2016 sees the arrival of The Pop-Up People, a band formed by Rix-Moore with the express purpose of putting on themed nights of indie-pop goodness. Things get off to a reliably eccentric start with tonight’s theme, Star Trek vs Coronation Street.

Dressed in home-made star covered outfits, large plastic sunglasses and the occasional sparkly mallard The Pop-Up People take to the stage for their debut gig. Things get off to a suitably entertaining start with an introductory song that finds keytar player Kathleen Yore telling us about a place where “aliens meet Lancashire folk” in the style of an over-zealous, circus ringleader. There’s a rendition of The Vaseline’s ‘Molly’s Lips’ with the lyrics changed to ‘Audrey’s Lips’ in tribute to the Streets Audrey Roberts (including a scarily accurate impression of Roberts mid-song). Why does nobody else come up with ideas as good as this?!

It’s fair to say that this isn’t designed to be the most serious of gigs yet it’s easily the most fun I’ve had at a gig in ages. Other numbers include an accordion led song about Wincey Willis meeting Iggy Pop (off theme but brilliant), ‘Star Trekking across the Universe’ and a song about Klingons clinging to trousers. It’s a glimpse inside Rix-Moore’s wonderfully weird imagination and a flippin’ fantastic performance.

The madness continues with a set from Liverpool’s Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies. Bentham looks almost exactly like Mark E Smith if you squint a little and while the band are an almost completely different kettle of fish they certainly have the potential to obtain a similar cult following. The band perform thrillingly raw and insanely catchy rock ‘n’ roll; with riotous backing vocals, squealing saxophone and electrifying guitar work from Bentham. The backing singers are dressed as dinner ladies, mops in hand as they dance around the stage. It’s an utterly joyous spectacle.

The songs are defiant yet fun odes to rebellion, with the likes of ‘Do the Don’t providing a suitably fun two-fingered salute to conformity. There’s a tune about being a ‘Hip Potater’ and a blistering, Billy Childish-esque tribute to their hero ‘Marcel Duchamp’. The set ends with the two dinner ladies having a mock fight on the floor and in the middle of the audience. If we weren’t already standing I’m pretty sure the band would have got a standing ovation.

In keeping with the theme tonight’s final band is none other than Leeds very own, Shatner. As the indie fans amongst you may have noticed their name serves a dual purpose, a tribute to both Captain Kirk aka William Shatner and Leeds’ indiepop institution The Wedding Present. While the band don’t sound too much like The Wedding Present, Jim Bowers Yorkshire tones still manage to recall the boy Gedge. The band’s sound isn’t quite as rabidly fast as the early Weddo’s either, the songs taking a slightly gentler approach to that classic C86 template mixed with the better side of Britpop. There are no cantankerous songs about ex-lovers here, more wide-eyed odes to space travel and erotic dreams.

There are plenty of sci-fi themed shenanigans and some incredibly infectious choruses as the band treat us to a set of songs from their latest album, Wow Signals. Bower smiles from ear-to-ear throughout the set, and it’s easy to see why- the songs carry a simple pop pleasure that’s hard to resist. I spot the dinner ladies in the audience; they haven’t stopped dancing all night.

The night ends with a sea of smiling faces and a job well done. Here’s to another year of Pop-Up gigs….

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