As part of Independent Venue Week, Brudenell Social Club hosts a powerful three band line up of Girl Band, Goat Girl and Mush. Goat Girl consist of four blasé babes who are introduced poetically by a slurring man brandishing a bottle of gin. They have their hair dragged back and sip on tinnies; the bassist wearing trackies and the drummer wearing a footie shirt. Their harmonies resemble Warpaint and their grit resounds Nirvana. Combining monotonous dark notes with their innocent vocals they are unnerving and enthralling throughout. They build over calm loops keeping cool but keep collected and build a real excitement.
Dublin group Girl Band (a four-piece boy band) headline in the packed main room using heavy guitar and bass effects with drums and screaming vocals to create an intense pitch. Lead singer Dara Kiely is mesmerising with veins protruding out of his consistently heightened neck. He grabs his shirt in fits of expression throughout each track reminiscent of Ian Curtis. Between the first and second track he swigs his pint and ruffles his hair preparing to launch all his energy into their performance.
The majority of the crowd are men lapping up every thrust given to them from stage. We hear bubbling bass with effects to maximise the sound. The drums are heavy building with the bass and effected electric guitar. Dynamics lower to tom rolls and vocals as all four march through their third song with a wall of sound and vocals leading ‘lalalalalalalala’. Kiely reminds me of Evan Peters in American Horror Story especially when screaming at the top of his lungs.
The grunting audience are desperate for Girl Band’s attention at any window of silence between songs. Kiely begins the ‘Yoooorkshire’ chant down the mic and cuts it short commenting in his Irish accent ‘we’ll do that later – that’s class’. Two of the tracks played are outbursts of noise, around a minute long, one of which the band drop out and leave Kiely still singing solo to conclude with an effeminate giggle.
By track 5 Kiely provocatively dances drenched in sweat over the space-like effects created from guitarist Alan Duggan. Daniel Fox’s bass effects keep the smooth momentum impacting an electronic and dirty tone. Duggan’s guitar plays traditional rock and Adam Faulkner’s drums are loud and sporadically dance beats. Kiely is fuelled with anger in his projection but his lyrics are laid back repeating ‘you’d like to say that you went to the show’.
It’s almost a relief in between songs when Kiely breaks out of his rigid aggressive stance to chat about football players of Leeds United and Manchester United. It’s clear the name Girl Band is a misnomer.
Track 8 of the set mellows out and a melancholic chorus washes the crowd to a slightly calmer ambience but not for long. By the end of Girl Band’s set there is chanting and crowd surfing. Brudenell is heaving and electric. All four men are leaving the stage and Faulkner decides to exit by crowd surfing.
A loud and energetic show thoroughly enjoyed by everyone in Leeds’ best independent venue.