Posted on November 19, 2009 - by Emma Stone
Friday 6th November 2009
I arrive at TJ’s after a slightly turbulent journey (neither me nor the taxi driver having the faintest idea where it is!) and walk in to the progressive punk sound of Leeds band Sewersuckers halfway through their set. My first thought, as superficial as it sounds, is that the singer really doesn’t seem to fit in amidst the heavily tattooed and undercut dreadlocked members that surround him. A fairly average looking man, Gaz Nowland soon has me eating my words; he certainly knows how to please the crowd, offering the mic to female fans at the front of the stage to scream into for “The World Explodes””, a riff heavy track with a large, loud chorus. Obvious crowd favorite “Mushrooms” sees the small following of apparently die-hard fans singing along to every word. Slightly too loud guitars overshadow an immensely powerful, talented drummer. It’s a set that is ever so slightly marred by possibly a few too many drinks beforehand, but an exuberant and enjoyable performance.
Next up, hailing from the ‘sunny state of Huddersfield’, Mr Shiraz bound onstage and commence their own breed of funk metal. Kicking off with “Elephant”, the room noticeably starts to fill up as more people start to pay attention. New guitarist Karl Smith makes a positive first impression; his backing vocals compliment those of singer Mikey Baird perfectly. On the “Next Big Story”, Sewersuckers singer Gaz makes an uninvited return to the stage to offer his own vocal accompaniment, as well as some mimed sexual acts thrown in for good measure. Unlike most, who would try their best to remove such a distracting stage invasion as quickly as possible, Mikey revels in it!
Amidst guitarists Karl and Tim Patterson moving freely about the stage, bassist Tori remains rooted to the spot, happy to let her counterparts take the attention of the crowd, preferring to concentrate on her intricate bass lines. “Life/Soul” and “Spy 49” offer the crowd the opportunity to ‘shake our hips and find our groove’, which isn’t hard due to the more upbeat ska chords introduction, ranging from chilled to heavy again as the chorus’ kicks in. Mickey has an interesting vocal range, switching between singing and screaming in a split second, sometimes his voice reminding me of Faith No More’s Mike Patton. A drumstick dropped by drummer Rob passes by unnoticed; not allowing it to faze him in the slightest as he carries on drumming in perfect time regardless. Though still not a large crowd, Mikey manages to galvanize the crowd and win them over with witty banter and excellent showmanship.
Former WWE wrestler Amy ‘Lita’ Dumas emerges in the midst of pounding drums and thrashing guitar, and throws herself straight into first track ‘Janice’. Within seconds, the entire audience is watching her in rapture, striding across the stage with a confidence that can only be attributed to being surrounded by cameras since the age of 24. Growling her way into “All There Is”, she performs like no other I’ve ever seen before. Writhing around on the floor, crawling on her hands and knees, even an off the cuff backwards roll, she owns the stage, not once does she miss a word, or even show the slightest sign of tiring.
The relationship between the band is almost telepathic. It amazes me how guitarist Shane Morton, bassist Jay Hepburg and Amy manage to cover so much space, all three of them making their way around the entirety of the stage, yet not once does that always slightly embarrassing collision happen; they seem to preempt each other’s moves. Constant requests for “White Boy” are met with a promise that it’s yet to come. Next song “Miracle” is dedicated to yours truly, Amy having overheard me in the toilets earlier having to book my taxi to ensure I make the last train, (thanks for nothing, Northern Rail!) Nodding towards the camera in my hand, she promises to give me something good to photograph before I have to leave, and I’m not left disappointed. As sycophantic as I am aware that it sounds, “Miracle” is one of my favourite tracks from their self titled debut album. Lying on her back, legs akimbo, charging towards the front of the stage with one fist pumping the air, she has kept her promise. Truly an amazing performance.
Two missed calls from the taxi company later, I have to leave. In the taxi on the way to the station, I’m thoroughly disappointed that I missed the opportunity to hear new song “Time Out”. However, any Luchagors fans out there that may also be disappointed they missed out on the gig; check their tour dates! They play locally again at Huddersfield Parish on December 2nd, so don’t miss this chance to see them; they really are worth it.
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