Combining a line-up of fresh acts on their first Leeds show ‘Bug Teeth’, Yorkshire legend Uncle Keir alongside his new band and indie favourites Van Houten, Tireless Idealist latest show had dreamy elements to dazzle everyone.
The most thought-provoking set of the evening surely came from Leeds new-comers Bug Teeth. Originally a solo project, they have recently started playing as a live band. Immersing you in their fine-tuned sound, Bug Teeth blended the ambient with their lightly picked bedroom pop aesthetic to produce a deeply soul-affecting set. PJ’s faint yet highly affecting vocals strung the songs together, weaving around the well-constructed soundscapes to melts away your tightest sensations. Swapping instruments and interchanging between a lap-steel did little to affect the tightness of their complex sound coordination. Despite the set’s intensity and the feeling that on their first Leeds show they had much to prove, the warmth of the band’s connection shone through in their affectionate giggles.
PHOTO OF BUG TEETH: BASEMENT LEEDS
Transporting you to a racing highway as your thoughts chased you around, latest single ICE-9 was a sure highlight of the set. Its live expression takes you on a journey through the whizzing hurdles of being. Comparisons to Wolf Alice, Mazzy Star and Slowdive come to mind but to focus on the dream and shoegaze elements perhaps simplifies the level of experimentation and outside influences including strays into Western.
The evening continued to flourish with the return of well-loved Keir Brown Hoyle’s solo project Uncle Keir. He truly proved himself to be everyone’s favourite uncle, with his new stellar line up of the best of the Leeds’ scene including Varun Govil of Fuzz Lightyear and Louisa McClure of Divorce Finance. Adding a humorous tone, chatting about Australian Master Chef and inspiring the best dance moves of the evening, Keir’s psych vocals over dreamy punk gave his project an entertaining live presence.
Conquering the stage, one of Leeds most cherished bands Van-Houten had the confidence of a well-established band taking a new direction but holding onto what makes them dear to the scene. Only carrying over two tracks from their earlier releases into their set, their new approach blurs the lines between heaviness and the void, not losing the fun-side of slacker rock for which are they are best known but allowing the songwriting to give way to impassioned and atmospheric guitar lines.
Van Houten lead singer Louis Salder’s soft vocals reminiscent of early 2000s Mojave 3 Neil Halstead carry you through feelings of loss, isolation, and challenging relationships, with an understated sensibility. A rare combination of three guitarists fit nicely to achieve a remarkably subtle sound that becomes huger when the choruses are reached. There are many elements to what make Van Houten’s new sound well-built but their skill is their ability to make it feel loose and fun which put the crowd at their most relaxed. New track ‘Coming On Stage’ eloquently demonstrate their grasp on blazing choruses and the ease of which their lyrics connect. An unmistakably reliable presence in Leeds, their upcoming releases should chart them as one of the UK’s best guitar bands.
PHOTO OF JAKE FROM VAN HOUTEN: BASEMENT LEEDS
The tireless, quite literally, commitment of Tireless Idealist to bringing well curated and artistically designed line-ups to a venue whose function room is more used to hen parties than shoegaze, is leading the New Headingley club to become Leeds’ most up and coming small venue. Slowly becoming less of one of Ls6's most well-kept secrets, you must check it out.
Future gigs include the recently announced: