BD1 Live is the new and exciting venture undertaken by Bradford’s own independent music fanzine, mono and top gig / club night, Granadaland. The partnership has come into fruition as a result of and in direct response to the expanding music scene which has developed quickly over the last year in the city. The events are set to take place in the impressive St Georges Hall to further stimulate music in Bradford and are 14+ to accommodate the younger fans who are seen as being every bit as important as older punters. The launch night saw Duels headline with support by Bradford acts Analog Bombs, Monty Casino and Laura Groves.
The Analog Bombs are first on the bill with their own brand of ‘post punkist indie’. Lead singer Ben swaggers about the stage with a bottle of beer in one hand and microphone on stand in the other, into which he grumbles nonchalantly whilst being completely covered by an irreverent mop of unruly hair. The Analog Bombs exemplify themselves with Primal Scream-ish undertones, infectious guitar tunes and ska measures of organ riffs which creates a catchy set. So catchy that even after the boys have left the stage, Lola is still stuck in my head. They’re loud, super confident and possibly a little bit drunk… but that’s The Analog Bombs.
Next up are Monty Casino who seem to share my passion for modern history. No bad thing at all. I’m still finding it a bit weird seeing them on such a larger stage than what they’re used to. But this does not appear to intimidate Patrick, Jed or Kai in the slightest. In fact, I don’t think they’ve even noticed. Monty Casino are definitely on top form tonight. The lyrics are as deadpan and ironic as ever, together with jerky guitaring, erratic percussion and frantic bass lines; with songs referencing Gorbachev and Gavrilo Princip and the Black Hand, Monty Casino have clearly utilised the highlights of GCSE history. I wouldn’t be surprised if the trio actually composed their tunes in lessons. More songs about Centenary Square, the Tour de France and one in Welsh, together with Patrick’s discourse in between, leaves the audience feeling vaguely bewildered yet quite entertained.
Laura Groves has the astonishing power to silence absolutely everybody in the room. Slightly nervous (bless her!) and wearing a spiffy dress, Laura stands centre and commands the stage by beginning with nothing but her scarily amazing voice which like waves carries all the way to the back and quietens people one by one. The grand and majestic interior of the beautiful St Georges Hall is well suited to Laura Groves and her music. Softly spoken, she mentions how small she feels but once she’s sat behind her keyboard, Laura’s clear ringing voice prevails over her shyness and astounds all. Coast, possibly one of my favourites, never ever fails to give me shivers and tonight’s venue makes it all the more special. As usual, Laura receives the loudest applause and cheers, which is nothing short of utterly deserved.
Duels’ set leans heavily towards newer material for a second album yet to be released. They appear to have matured since the last time I saw them and they’ve uncannily all grown rather fetching beards, apart from Katherine of course. They’ve moved away from the anthemic Britpop tunes of their debut, The Bright Lights And What I Should Have Learned, but still incorporate Potential Futures and Brothers And Sisters into their set. Duels’ latest offerings are more accomplished and notably darker, eerie and melodic. The duet with Laura Groves is an interesting one and proves successful for both, leaving the audience charmed.
If the launch night was anything to go by, then there can only be further achievements and progress made by mono and Granadaland who will hopefully entice further national touring bands to the city with local acts supporting. Thanks go out to the BD1 LiVE team and to the gig-goers of Bradford for a very special night, hopefully the first of many…
© Taaryn Brench