By Gig Scene Editor
Musically speaking, the Happy Mondays really weren’t anything to write home about but in my book they were/are still a great band.
There’s good news for fans who preferred their second album Bummed to their hit-laden Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches - you can see them play it right through at Leeds 02 Academy this Saturday night.
The afore-mentioned Bummed may not be packed with great songs (Wrote for Luck required a substantial remix to become a dance hit and Lazyitis ‘borrowed’ heavily from The Beatles’ Ticket to Ride) but it sounded different to anything else - it felt right and sounded true.
A sleazy mix of basic dance floor basslines, cheesy synths and sharply ugly guitar topped off with Shaun Ryders stoned streetwise drawl, it was also blessed with mad genius Martin Hannett’s reverb-drenched production.
Throw in some sampled dialogue from 1960s films featuring the Rolling Stones and the end result sounded like disco porn for people who dreamt of their own summer of love.
I mention all this because one of the support bands on the bill when the Mondays’ Bummed 25th anniversary tour swings into Leeds at the weekend are a band with strong Harrogate links.
Sulk, whose debut album Graceless is one of the best albums of the year - an under-rated Brit guitar band classic - features two ex-Harrogate musicians - Jon Sutcliffe (vocals) and Andrew Needle (rhythm guitar).
The other support band on Saturday night are also rather good – Sunshine Underground.
The first of what is hoped to be a monthly night in Knaresborough for young, original bands takes place tomorrow, Friday.
The Friday Night Mix is organised by musician Rufus Beckett at Henshaws Arts & Crafts Café and has a cracking line-up.
As far as I c an make out, the following bands are playing tonight, Friday: Modern Day Dukes (10pm). Fold (9pm). Red Ocean Nectar (8pm). Heaven’s Waiting Room (7.30pm).
I could be wrong, though!
From Love Me Do to Hey Jude, if you want to hear all those Fab Four classics done correctly, don’t miss The Beatles Show at The Engine Shed in Wetherby where this renowned tribute band are playing a two-hour set tomorrow, Friday night.
Tickets are available on 01937 588884.
From The Beatles to Elvis now - Les Lomax is putting on a special rock n roll night at the Manhattan Club in Harrogate for Yorkshire Cancer Research in January.
It will feature Les Lomax & Memphis (playing Elvis Presley), McEnroe & The Ballboys (playing 60s and 70s classics) and The Best of the Sharon Colgan Band (upbeat chart hits).
More info at www.LesLomaxdisconights.com
Congratulations to Pete Willett. The veteran Harrogate singer-songwriter of 40 years standing which has seen two of his songs from his last album Still Searching for Emily published in the USA, is now a published author.
Called The Stan Chronicles, this adult and humorous look at life with his trusty dog Stan, Willett’s stories first appeared as a blog but has now been published in paperback by Strawberry Pirate Ltd of Stevenage. http://www.petewillett.com/
Two of Leeds’ best alt-rock bands of the past decade are appearing together in a special gig at Brudenell Social Club this Saturday night, as part of this terrific venue’s 100th birthday celebrations.
Once NME favourites, Forward Russia led by the likable Whiskas will be supported by This Et Al, a ferociously energetic live band who played for my Charm nights at the Blues Bar a few years back.
From talent reforming to new talent on the way up, 14-year-old Natalie Tuvey needs your help to record her debut EP.
Natalie started writing her own songs while at Bilton Grange Primary School in Harrogate and has since made giant strides towards her goal of being a successful musician.
As well as playing shows in London and winning several international singer-songwriter competitions, this incredible teenager is doing all the right things at an incredibly young age.
She’s working with a vocal coach to major stars, has a publishing deal in the USA and is now writing songs with a more experienced musician who is managed by Paul Weller’s former drummer, Steve White.
All in all, quite a promising youngster!
Now Natalie needs to raise funds to ensure her debut EP containing four songs is released properly in hard copy and digital form. If you want to support Natalie, visit www.indiegogo.com
f you enjoyed the amazing Zappa Plays Zappa show at Harrogate’s Royal Hall as much as I did, there’s the chance to relive the experience on YouTube where someone has very helpfully posted videos of several of the performances from this amazing night.
For my review of the show, see page 31 of this section.
For fans of legendary punk bands as The Clash and the Sex Pistols and classic British groups like The Kinks, a newish band called The Dexters may be right up your street.
Full of energy and tunes, this East London band are playing The Cockpit in Leeds this Saturday night.
Finally, this weekend sees Harrogate Christmas Market. Located at the bottom of Montpellier Hill, there’s a whole host of local live acts of all styles performing at the shelter from today until Sunday.