The Leisure Society - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
The Leisure Society - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Leisure Society - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Ten years ago heartbreak helped inspire The Sleeper; the debut album by Brighton’s The Leisure Society. Fast-forward to 2019 and songwriter Nick Hemming is on stage at The Brudenell Social Club explaining how the new album, Arrivals and Departures, came from a very similar set of circumstances.

Andy Brown
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The Cure - Disintegration 30th Anniversary Concert - Sydney, Australia
The Cure - Disintegration 30th Anniversary Concert - Sydney, Australia
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Cure - Disintegration 30th Anniversary Concert - Sydney, Australia

1989 was an amazing year for music, but no day was more important than May 2. On that day, two iconic albums were released to the world - the eponymous debut of the Stone Roses and The Cure’s Disintegration. Sydney, Australia was able to secure the 30th anniversary celebration of Disintegration by booking The Cure to play a five-night residency at their world-famous Opera House, which coincides with the start of Vivid Festival, Sydney’s annual celebration of lights and culture.

Jim Cunnar
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Mildlife - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Mildlife - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Mildlife - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Tonight’s show is the second time the Melbourne four-piece Mildlife have played the Brudenell. On their first visit last year opening for the mighty Wooden Shjips they stole the show with their mesmerising blend of electro-funk/space-jazz; it's the only time I can remember a support band being cheered so loudly to play an encore. 

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Charly Bliss - Headrow House, Leeds
Charly Bliss - Headrow House, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Charly Bliss - Headrow House, Leeds

Some music is designed for quiet contemplation and rigorous beard-stroking but that isn’t the kind of music made by Brooklyn’s Charly Bliss. The four-piece make energetic, unashamedly upbeat power pop-come-bubble-grunge. Tonight they’re throwing a party in celebration of their second album, Young Enough. Turns out, Charly Bliss know how to throw a pretty great party.

Andy Brown
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Lucy Dacus & Mothers - Crowbar, Tampa, Florida
Lucy Dacus & Mothers - Crowbar, Tampa, Florida
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Lucy Dacus & Mothers - Crowbar, Tampa, Florida

Not a lot of touring bands make the commitment to venture down into Florida on a regular basis, but in the days following Atlanta’s Shaky Knees festival a virtual cornucopia of acts came south of the Georgia border.  In the Tampa Bay area the following week there were shows by Shaky Knees' alumni Tyler Childers, Interpol, Foxing, Slothrust, and maybe more.  But the easy pick for us was the combination of Lucy Dacus and Mothers the Tuesday following.

Mark Moody
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Crack Cloud & N0V3L - Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Crack Cloud & N0V3L - Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Crack Cloud & N0V3L - Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

Gigs like tonight are what we all hope for; two emerging bands, playing on the same bill in a tiny basement venue; blowing everyone away with the intensity of their performance.  Both bands tonight are from Vancouver, they play their take on articulate indie guitar with heavy post-punk leanings and with a big influence, it seems in particular to bands like Gang of Four and others of the time with that distinctive angular guitar sound. 

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Hello Cosmos - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
Hello Cosmos - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Hello Cosmos - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

“I lived in Leeds for ten years” begins Hello Cosmos vocalist/ bassist Ben Robinson “and was never up before 12”. It’s a confession I can definitely relate to yet thankfully the good people of Leeds appear to have made the effort and arrived in time. High noon at the Belgrave Music Hall and the Manchester-based sonic cosmonauts are ready to get started. Incidentally, their gig also serves as the beginning of today’s Live at Leeds one day festival.

Andy Brown
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Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Dead Can Dance - Hammersmith Apollo, London

Tonight is the second of two sold out shows at the Hammersmith Apollo. With a seating capacity of around 3500 that's no easy feat for a band that many may be unaware of but illustrates the enduring appeal to those who know. 

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Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 3, Atlanta
Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 3, Atlanta
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 3, Atlanta

If you felt the Earth tilt on its axis last Sunday around 4:30pm it may be because the largest daytime crowd ever assembled (short of Trump’s Photoshopped Inauguration crowd) was standing in one spot waiting for Grouplove to take the stage.  I didn’t even know this band existed any longer, but I seemed to be in the minority on that count.  This is normally the time of day people are waiting in line for a jalapeño corndog in order to power through to the headliners. 

Mark Moody
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Built to Spill - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Built to Spill - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Built to Spill - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Built to Spill are seen by many as a rather important band within the American indie-rock scene of the 1990’s. It would be fair to say that Dough Martsch and Co have been on my ‘must listen to’ pile for far too long. What better way to correct this oversight than to go and see them live as they commemorate the 20th anniversary of their much-loved fourth album, Keep it Like a Secret.

Andy Brown
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Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 2, Atlanta
Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 2, Atlanta
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 2, Atlanta

As exhausting and hot of a Day One that we had at Shaky Knees, we were mobilized and ready to hit the grounds early on Day Two for one of our Soundblab top picks.  We were thrown a bit of a curveball when we found out the Starbucks next to our hotel was only open on weekdays.  I guess they just cater to the suits.  Anyway, thanks to the fine folks at Banjo Cold Brew on the festival grounds we made a speedy recovery.

Mark Moody
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Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 1, Atlanta
Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 1, Atlanta
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Shaky Knees Festival 2019 - Day 1, Atlanta

Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta is a great one to kick off the Summer festival season for us East Coasters.  This year they offered up a stacked lineup with the Friday opening slate being particularly strong.  With four stages and two of them firing at all times, it makes for a fast-paced day zigzagging Atlanta’s Central Park to take it all in. 

Mark Moody
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