Gig review: Carnabells + Benson + The Blueprints + The Dead Blues at 360 Club at The Library, Leeds

Carnabells at 360 Club. Picture: Scott Bradley
Carnabells at 360 Club. Picture: Scott Bradley
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For those of you who haven’t yet been to 360 Club, you are possibly missing out on the best night of unsigned music that Leeds has to offer. With this being said, Friday evening saw me excitedly walking up the stairs of the Library pub for four equally exciting bands.

As always with 360 events, the running order was announced in secret to the bands one after the other as time went by, and as a result all the bands’ fans arrived in time for doors, eagerly anticipating who would be up first.

This burning question was finally answered with the arrival of York’s The Blueprints. One well-paced, power pop set later and it was the turn of local lad rockers The Dead Blues, who have recently played some out of town dates with The Pigeon Detectives. Their edgy blues-driven guitar tones and all black outfits have certainly been seen before in the Leeds scene, but that’s not to say the four-piece didn’t put on a great show, playing some very well structured indie rock and roll.

Next to be given the nod by Richard Watson, founder of 360 Club, were the main event, Carnabells, a band who have had the summer of their lives.

After taking the festival season by storm, playing Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading respectively Carnabells were back, and had a lot to live up to. The success of their summer months has given them a platform from which to prove themselves, and, after being invited to headline Club NME at London’s Koko, they certainly seem to be doing just that.

The familiar piano bashing, guitar thrashing and cymbal splashing of ‘Call The Sunshine’ got every head in the building nodding away, and I don’t think they stopped until the final chord of ‘Magazine Dream’, fan favourite and set closer. It was like being in a room full of Churchill the dogs, without the annoying catchphrases.

You can’t help but smile watching a band like Carnabells, because that’s all they seem to do themselves. Grins a plenty were passed between Jack, Luke, Mitch, Tom and Nathan, the latter providing some excellent dance moves to accompany excellent bass grooves.

A collective hat must be tipped to Pete the sound engineer, who was on hand throughout Carnabells’ set, and indeed the full night, fiddling with faders to get the very best out of each instrument. A prime example found during ‘Give It’ when Mitch Thompson’s pastel green guitar riffs coolly crept out between vocal breaks, sprinkled the end of each line with excitement before falling away effortlessly into the mix.

Carnabells seem to be going from strength to strength, and if they continue down this path it won’t be long until they are a household name.

Rounding off the evening were Benson, who provided a brass braised soundtrack to the now drunk enough to dance. An excellent evening was had by one and all.

Gig date: September 19

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