Post War Glamour Girls: Arden Road Social Club, Halifax

Halifax has to live in the shadows of Leeds as far as live music is concerned but the town is slowly building a strong reputation in this field and Arden Road Social Club is one of the venues leading this charge.

In some ways it was reminiscent of Brudenell Social Club with its plush seating arrangement and the audience sitting in comfort while being treated to a strong line-up. The support bands were varied and interesting with some real moments of quality, from Nose in particular.

The venue only allows a limited number of punters in, thus providing a good mixture of venue regulars and fans of the band, I also spotted fellow Leeds band This Many Boyfriends in the crowd. Post War Glamour Girls were greeted on stage by warm, emphatic applause before they began their set with “Sestra”. It was a lively start with lead singer James Smith staggering and spluttering about the stage in his trademark impassioned style.

They followed “Sestra” with an explosive rendition of “Light Bulb” tinged with the raw passion which makes the band so endearing and intriguing to the ears. At this point the crowd clearly appreciated the talent on view but they all remained seated, all except one man dancing on his own at the front (the kind of dancing which you only normally see at Glastonbury, again usually by someone dancing on their own).

Post War Glamour Girls performance encapsulated the crowd more as each song went by, the harmonies between James and Alice were mesmeric. The powerful nature of his voice infiltrates your consciousness, leading to involuntary smiling and allowing yourself to be completely lost in their creative flair and mood altering instrumentation. The angst and passion which is evident in their music has a really positive and uplifting effect, you are left with a genuine appreciation of their skill and creativity, the music they create is incomparable.

After a heated performance of “Powdered Milk Asylum”, in which James used the microphone cable caught round the stand to casually toss the mic stand about the stage, “Service Station Blues”, with a big frantic ending, and the latest single “Jazz Funerals” the lone dancer appealed to people to join him and there were plenty willing to accept the offer as they joined him on the dance floor.

The band were evidently enjoying themselves on stage and James indulged in plenty of chatter with the crowd between songs. Bassist Alice Scott’s vocals were piercing and beautiful as she seductively jolted in her effortlessly cool manner, the harmonies between Alice and James were perfection. Guitarist James Thorpe supplied gripping and forceful guitar parts in his own incredibly calm and relaxed fashion. Combined with the wandering, driving bass lines and drummer Ben Clyde’s punchy fills and runs they create a sound that’s truly unique and infectious.