This gig was yet another excellent recommendation from my good friend Simon Pattinson. He’s never let me down yet and nor did he last night with a diverse and fantastic line-up. No pressure for the next one then Simon! I missed the first few minutes of Skinner‘s set but I am so glad that I was their for the bulk of it. How would I describe the music? Now that is difficult. But they band were well rehearsed and the sound was largely in an electro dance/ pop vein. But those vocals, oh boy can this girl sing. The songs were damned good too. I especially loved “Burn” and “I Don’t Care”. They are from Leeds and frankly if Skinner are on the bill at a gig near you then you will really be losing out if you don’t make every effort to go and see them. I am now very much a Skinner fan.
Next up was Boss Caine who a number of people had recommended to me. It was an acoustic set with some added cello and guitar. The songs were incredibly deep and well written. The vibe evoked a 60s/ 70s US west coast vibe and that worked really well for me. The songs not only contained great melodies but also excellent story narratives too. It’s sometimes hard to believe that this dude is not American, but then he speaks between songs and sings about York. Americana redrawn and bettered; why is Boss Caine not playing even bigger stages? I will definitely be seeing Boss Caine again and so should you dear reader.
Tonight’s headliner was Hello Operator from York and for all of you who have said or believed that hard rock is softening or dying go and see this band. They are living proof that rock is most definitely not dead. Very heavy and very loud they are, but they are so much more than that. Their sound draws on many influences in my view; Black Sabbath, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age and perhaps more. The vocals are the template for what good rock vocals should be. The lead guitarist has the potential to be a real virtuoso. The engine room of drum and bass underpins the bands sound and flow perfectly. Four top-notch musicians who come together to brew up some fantastic and melodic hard rock. Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better they played a cover version, something they apparently don’t do very often. But was it a note for note cover of a hard rock anthem? No, it was a cover of the Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow“. On paper it should never have worked, but who gives a shit about paper? The easily surpassed Will.i.am and the other Peas. The band was also joined on stage by Skinner for one song. This was a stupendous show from a bloody brilliant band. If this band do not go on to achieve greatness then something is wrong. In a world of worthless talent shows like X-Factor, the Voice and other such shite this is real music and real talent. Sell your soul, your body (but responsibly), your Gran, your shoes or your X-Box. Just do whatever it takes to see them!
Now for the public service announcement. The pictures in this post were taken by me but the videos were gathered on-line from YouTube