This Et Al (Hey Edison, Dante and the Pre-Raphaelites, Sniper)
The Faversham on 30th May 2006
Reviewed by Dave on 31st May 2006
I went expecting this to be a This Et Al gig, with maybe two other bands that were either passable or total rubbish however, I noticed something was wrong as soon as I stepped through the doors.
There was no one on the door, no one checking tickets or making you pay to get in, "What's going on here then?" I thought, but I wasn't complaining free music is always good. The next thing I noticed was that the venue was plastered in Nokia posters and standees announcing this as a "Rock up and Play" night. For those of you not familiar with "Rock up and Play" it is Karaoke with the added horror of instruments, people from the audience can get up on stage and play with the house band, or bands can just turn up and play. Whilst this is theoretically a good thing because it gives local bands a chance to play in front of a live audience, something they might not get the chance to do otherwise, it is also potentially a bad thing because it gives local bands the opportunity to play in front of a live audience, something some of them probably should not be allowed to do. Ever.
So I got myself another beer (this one courtesy of a lovely Nokia girl who I think took pity on me because I was all alone) and prepared myself for a night of aural torture until This Et Al took to the stage and I could enjoy some good music. What followed however was a smorgasbord (that's right I said smorgasbord) of local talent, if you discount the house band who were from somewhere else and only did covers.
Hey Edison are a five piece band from Telford, which is in fact not that near Leeds at all, making the band not local. One of the band members looks like someone I used to go to school with, and who was in a string of god-awful bands, I don't think I actually did though, as I have never been to Telford, he just looks familiar.
The band bounces their way through an entertainingly jolly set, and this is the difficult part, I have to convey to you how they sound but I can't think of anyone that I can compare them to. The band describe themselves as "James Brown, blended with Athlete, the Chilli Peppers and Maroon 5" on their myspace.
The songs are all angular and jarring and the beat is infectious, pretty soon I am tapping my foot and bopping along to music (this is essentially dancing for me). Aiden, the vocalist provides the band with a stage presence that one would expect to see from a more mature and established band. He is constantly dancing and throwing himself around, the rest of the band follow his lead and the result is a lively performance from a young band that are no doubt going places.
Dante and the Pre-Raphaelites
Dante are trying something different, they are usually a four piece from Doncaster, and tonight they perform as an acoustic two-piece from Doncaster. It's plain to see that they are not used to doing acoustic sets, speaking to them afterwards they tell me as much and ask if it sounded good. It did, it sounded very good.
A quick listen to the tracks available on the band's myspace confirms that as a four piece they are altogether louder, and still sound good. This is a band that I would definitely see again.
The set is a mere two songs long, personally I would have liked to have some heard more from this waistcoat-ed impromptu duo but there are more bands to come and the stage, unfortunately must be cleared.
The bassist in Sniper looks like someones dad, and you could be forgiven for thinking that Sniper formed from some sort of midlife crisis and have been stuck in the pub scene for the past decade, their sound is a call back to the Oasis of ten years ago, you know back when Oasis were actually a good band.
Jibes about their looks aside, because frankly it doesn't matter if a band is made up of octogenarians as long as those pensioners can play and entertain a crowd it's alright (I'm not implying that you would catch any member of Sniper by the Post Office on pension day mind you). So let's let the music do the talking.
As I said Sniper's sound reminds me of the mid-nineties Britpop scene, they do sound very much like Oasis, a band who I have never personally liked. Thankfully though, neither of the Gallagher's are in Sniper and the band manage to bring their own style to an old sound, which makes for a loud and enjoyable set. They even make good use of the harmonica, the most evil instrument ever created.
This Et Al
This is the band that I came to see, Leeds' very own and very excellent This Et Al. As the band are setting up the guy who has been introducing the bands comes over to me, and asks if I have seen them before, I tell him I saw them a couple of weeks ago "Any good?" he asks "*bleep*ing amazing" I tell him. The lads don't disappoint either.
They are currently coming to the end of their headline tour to promote the release of their excellent Sabbatical EP (which Andreas has just reviewed) and after tonight they are jetting off to Glasgow to play the final leg of their tour, tonight is a last minute thing, one last gig in Leeds before they return in July for the Across the Tracks festival, although I think that are still TBC for this.
I must admit that there are only a few This Et Al song that I recognise from the get go and know by name, those are 'Wardens', 'All you'll Ever be is a Dancer' and 'Sabbatical'. The set is a joy to behold, with the boys displaying what I have come to think of as their usual level of energy on stage. Sadly 'Wardens' isn't present in their set but both 'Sabbatical' and the short but immensely satisfying 'All you'll ever be...' are.
By the end of their set I am, as I felt last time I saw them, proud to share a hometown with these lads. In my opinion This Et Al are the future of Leeds' music scene, and that future is bright and very, very loud.
By the end of the night I had enjoyed three different sets; I had also seen someone expertly fail to imitate the 'Grohl Growl' when the Nokia house band (The Moneyshots) performed a cover of the Foo Fighters 'All my Life'. I had been nominated a Nokia photographer and been given a Nokia t-shirt, that kind of makes me look like some corporate bitch.
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