Brudenell Social Club hosted three very promising acts to celebrate the release of DUSK’s debut single “Dali”. Their Games Room was very healthily attended to see some of the brightest talent currently emerging in Leeds.
First up was the very youthful looking Kumiko with their eclectic mix of styles. Each track seems to comprise of jazz, funk and indie backing the impressive and attention grabbing vocals. Creatively this is a project brimming with intelligent composition, both in the instrumentation and the clever, interesting, lyrics.
It was then the turn of another very experimental band ENGINE. In the early section of their set they combined dark and light shades. The tone of the vocals and guitar had a jolly feel to them, but there was something much darker underlying. ENGINE had many progressive elements combined with nods to earlier influences, brief early moments contained a hint of Kula Shaker. This is an act with true variety, each track differed from the previous one and no two were in the same. One number was borderline House music, it was a moment in which I personally began to switch off but the reaction of the crowd showed that I was definitely alone in that opinion.
Finally it was time for headline act, and firm favourite with Counterfeit Magazine and BBC Introducing, DUSK. This was my second time seeing them live, in the first instance they impressed me greatly, and on this second occasion they surpassed the high standard already set in my mind. The first thing I noticed was that in just a couple of months singer Holly Matthews has become even more of a mesmeric stage presence. Her ethereal, enticing, movements combined with vocals reminiscent of Kate Bush mean that your attention is drawn to her for the majority of the set. During the performance she treads the line of confidence, with attitude, and belief, without ever stepping over into arrogance. In the breaks between the tracks she is the polar opposite, coming across as a shy and timid character, unsure of the fantastic abilities she possesses.
DUSK are far from a one person show, a group of talented individuals whose creativity and skill seems to have been designed to perfectly compliment the other members. Keys player Sarah Hayes is capable of conjuring up every emotion and provides the ideal backing for Holly’s vocals. Holly is at her most compelling during the soft and delicate moments when backed perfectly by the beautiful, delicate, emotive tones Sarah creates. DUSK are also a band that display their versatility more than capably, proved by taking things up a notch with tracks like “Storm Chaser”. It is during these more upbeat songs that bassist Nathan Francey and drummer Dom Reed really shine. As Sarah provides a sense of dread Nathan’s wandering, powerful, bass rumbles through and Dom thrashes away at the drums at frantic pace with consummate ease.
This was a night for showcasing new material, as well as celebrating the release of “Dali”, showing that DUSK are not the kind of band to dwell on their debut release and have already progressed to the next step of their journey. New track “Only For You” started off as a beautiful and tender piece, then as it progressed it became clear that deep emotions were involved. You could hear the pain within Holly’s vocals, and the lyrics made it evident that this is a track filled with raw emotion. It seems that whatever style DUSK turn their hand to they absolutely nail it. “Only For You” made me want to cry whilst “Dali” had everyone dancing and brimming with smiles.
You can stream their debut single “Dali” and read our exclusive feature here.