Gig review: Rupert Stroud at The Wardrobe, Leeds

Rupert Stroud at The Wardrobe. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
Rupert Stroud at The Wardrobe. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
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Some might just think it’s another Friday night in Leeds, going to another gig, seeing another band. The fact that tonight is Friday but Rupert Stroud is no ordinary musician, he’s one of a breed of hotly tipped West Yorkshire artists that’s currently attracting the attentions not just of the region but the entire country.

Currently Rupert’s all over the radio, BBC Radio 2, 6 Music, NME, Q and the list continues.

He falls into a genre of music not specifically defined but created out of pure love and talent, the kind of love and talent that everyone in the industry should have but instead most are sheep, aimlessly following the flock of fashion and trend because that’s where their ‘big break’ is going to be. Rupert defies that and sets an example from which upcoming musicians should take stock.

We are in The Wardrobe in Leeds for tonight’s launch of Rupert’s latest EP, Talk To You. He’s got some boots to fill too because the back catalogue has been received with rave reviews. Rupert’s not on stage on his own tonight, the rest of the band are with him too including drummer Mick, bassist Paul and on percussionst Will.

Supporting Rupert is Dewsbury’s Simon Walker, a rising artist in his own right, and the fantastic Anna Pancaldi.

The band launch the evening with a sublime tracks including Twisted Games, Never Back Down, and Bad Things. One particular favourite is Light It Up, an electro enthused mix of acoustic goodness with some blinding lyrics and some nifty soft cymbal crashing.

It All Comes Back is a beautifully produced melancholic track which sits in the set list like the first sip of an end of evening single malt. The selection of tracks is truly fitting for an artist with such a passionate range. You can tell where some will see the similarities with the likes of Richard Ashcroft, Guy Garvey and such, Rupert’s writing talent is pretty immense.

The final two tracks are two of Rupert Stroud’s best, Way Back Home and Morning Light. Morning Light especially is an utterly fine song, worthy, you’d have thought, of being produced by one of the most talented songwriters out there and not just by a young lad from Ilkley. Rightly so it’s attracted the airplay it deserves from the likes of Dermot O’Leary’s BBC Radio 2 show.

It will come as no surprise that I’m a big fan of Rupert Stroud. To be fair, I don’t know many people after having listened to his work aren’t converted too. The steps to bigger and better things have already been taken and it’s probably not going to be long before we’ll be hearing much much more from this fantastic musician.

Gig date: April 17

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