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  • Writer's pictureBasement Leeds

Tiss Vampiric and Friends at Headrow House 11th February 2023

A dazzling spectacle, more akin to the West End than the middle floor of Headrow House.

Local legend, Tiss, formerly of the project Genie Genie introduced Tiss Vampiric to the people of their musical hometown, Leeds, as a part of their Take it, Eat it My body tour. The band has a seven-member line up including two stylish backing singers and a prowling saxophonist who brought the heavier moments of the songs to life. Their show was a dazzling spectacle, more akin to the West End than the middle floor of Headrow House.

Employing controlled, cabaret-style movements and interacting with the crowd through mime artist facial expressions, Rocky Horror Show truly met rock ‘n’ roll. The usually tentative Headrow audience gave in to the theatrics and danced the most fervently to the bopping, hip-shaking track Jack The Ripper. A song that even the evil Count Dracula himself would dance to.

(Photo by Josh Hill of @Joshhillfilm)

There was no end to the performance aspect of this incredible live show, as stronger brass section made up of members of Volk Soup joined the foray and a duet with lead singer of the band, Harry Jones, commenced. On the weekend leading up to Valentines Day, it was impossible not to feel the romance of the two front-people. Surrendering into their utmost desires for each other, their pelvises whirled around each other and gave way to a beautiful embrace.

Prior to Tiss, a line-up of the darker sides of the Leeds Music Scene including Mother Said and Volk Soup were given their time to shine. Mother Said’s frontwomen, Katie and Amber screamed their lyrics to their hearts content, demonstrating their vocal skill. Whilst comparisons to the Raincoats, The Slits and the like, seem fair, Mother Said bring a unique flavour to their take on punk with gothic tinges reminiscent of Leeds music history. Their new single Tallulah is out now. I won’t be walking the dog.

The middle raucousness that Volk Soup added to this deathly lineup, complimented by the smoke machine and well-crafted lighting, invoked some fear. Jones rolling around the microphone cable freaking out the audience is now a classic, but always hits slightly differently. We are no stranger at Basement Leeds to the appeal of Volk Soup but there is still nothing quite like when Luc Gibbons lets loose to that keyboard setting. ‘I’ve got a plan to take you all down with me’, they all screamed. With pulsing basslines, fun choruses, slashy shredding moments, discordant brass and a smilier connection between the members, there is no limit to what is coming for this band.

Overall, this was truly one of my favourite gigs in the past year. The performance aspect allowed the audience to let loose and connect with each other in a way that is rare for a Leeds audience.

Words by Becca Healy

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