Indie Banquet: Wharf Chambers, Leeds

You hear the words ‘Pizza For The People’ and your mind instantly jumps to the thought of a trendy Pizza street food stall, how wrong you’d be to assume that in this case though… Pizza For The People are one of the many promoters who have appeared on the Leeds scene in the recent past, however, this statement makes them sound quite ordinary which is exactly what they are not. They’ve spent the past year and a half building up a name for themselves as one of the most interesting promoters around, bringing consistently fantastic line-ups to a variety of local venues. We went down to their seventh gig recently which had an incredibly exciting bill of up & coming bands at Leeds’ finest Wharf Chambers.

First on was Hamer, with a short but sweet fifteen minute set. The three piece garage-rock outfit have the ability to somehow come across as nonchalant whilst displaying one of the most hectic and energetic performances of the night. With raging guitar solos, static but driving bass lines and a stupidly fast drummer, their set really was a complete whirlwind. Half way through, frontman Hamish’s strange microphone made of a doll’s foot fell of the stand, not that it slowed him down. He picked the piece back up off the floor, inserted it into his mouth and continued on with the song, afterwards stating ‘I nearly fainted during that one, did you see?’ No break required though, he cracked on with the next song as if nothing had happened. A must-see band for any fans of quick and sweaty rock & roll.

Next up, only having been added to the bill a few days before due to a drop-out, was The Boxing. Another band consisting of only three members, they really pack a punch, with an incredibly thick yet delicate sound. Swirling guitars reminiscent of The Cure, are accompanied by soft, gentle vocals, entrancing bass lines and intense, powerful drum beats. It’s also worth a mention that the bass player, Henry Chatham, has some of the most fantastic moves around!

One of London’s most exciting bands, Hotel Lux, had travelled up especially for the occasion. With a sound relatable to The Fall and Fat White Family, they were very well received for their first show in Leeds. Not that they showed any signs of being pleased, not cracking a smile all set. Frontman Lewis comes across as an aggressive, rebellious school boy in his stage presence but, his lyrics prove this is not the case, with lyrical content about homelessness, politics and ‘the north-south divide’. With his hands in his pockets he snarled out each word with real passion, whilst the rest of the band provide jarring and noise-y backing music. Also, congrats to bass player Cam, your melodies have been stuck in my head for the past two weeks now.

Main support for the evening was local favourites, Treeboy & Arc. Every time we see these guys their performance somehow exceeds the last, they seem to consistently reduce the amount of chit-chat in between songs, merging three to four of their songs together at once, building up the energy throughout until it appears they need to rest before they pass out. A quick rest for 20 seconds whilst they take a swig of beer and tune their guitars, then they crack on with another few tracks. Bass player James Kay swings his body about, worrying the audience about whether he’s going to pull a muscle in the process. His quick and wide-ranging bass lines are matched with intertwining guitar lines, added synth parts here and there plus drum beats that confuse the mind yet seem to be played with such ease. The crowd know most of the lyrics and we can’t blame them! These guys are rising up the Leeds scene and we won’t be shocked if they reach the top very soon…

Headlining the night was Hull’s finest, Vulgarians. Each song performed by the band takes you on a rollercoaster of a journey, with delicate, slow sections that suddenly jump to intense, delay soaked climaxes. The vocals perfectly match these transitions too, from low pitched spoken word to biting, brooding falsetto, each song is unpredictable and exciting. The audience spent the whole set swinging their heads forward and back, moving around the room uncontrollably. Hull has a fantastic emerging scene of DIY bands at the moment and Vulgarians seem to be leading that movement. Gritty post-punk that really does not care what you think about it. Heavy drums, piercing guitar lines and fierce bass lines, their set ended the evening on a huge high, leaving each and every member of the audience wanting more.