Brudenell Social Club, in Leeds, was packed to celebrate the release of “Swan Songs”, the latest album by Post War Glamour Girls. Post War Glamour Girls are, rightly, cherished by the Leeds music scene so tonight was a chance for both parties to show the other what they mean to one another. Before the headline act we were treated to some hand selected warm-up acts, New Woman and Blacklisters.
The evening began with a set from local two piece New Woman. It was originally advertised as being Fawn Spots in that first support slot but an impending appendix explosion from one of the band members meant that New Woman had to step in at short notice. They knocked out a short and noisy set consisting of crashing cymbals, heavy guitars, and nonsense lyrics. They definitely began to warm the crowd up, and their Iggy Pop cover to mark the great man’s birthday went down a treat.
Then it was the turn of Leeds cult heroes Blacklisters. Many of the crowd had clearly seen them before as the room rapidly filled up as they began their set. At that moment when the band first started playing lead singer Billy jumped down from the stage and performed the whole first track frantically pacing up and down in front of, and amongst, the crowd. Blacklisters were loud, aggressive and relentless, almost like a more relaxed, Yorkshire, version of Napalm Death. They battled through the constant feedback and even began to embrace it by the end of their set, which I feel is a metaphor for how some people new to Blacklisters may have felt during the gig. At first they may have seen it as a wall of unpleasant noise but by the end they will have embraced it, appreciated it, and been disappointed when all that was left was a ringing in their ears.
In between the support acts the headliners had supplied their own pre-recorded radio station, Swan Songs Radio, especially for the event, complete with their favourite tracks, spoof radio hosting and adverts. It was then time for Post War Glamour Girls to launch their latest album “Swan Songs”. They played the album in full from start to finish so that the fans could hear it in it’s full glory live. One of the main things that came across during the performance was that the band seemed to be genuinely enjoying playing this new material out live, you also got a sense that they are incredibly proud of this new work, and it is easy to see why. Each track received a huge reaction from the audience, lead singer James Smith was on fine form and some of the bass lines Alice Scott produced were mesmerising. Highlights included a spellbinding performance of “Gull Rips a Worm to Rags”, Smith walking through the crowd ranting during “Big Trip”, and the finale of “Divine Decline”. As this final track reached its energetic and rousing finale the stage was covered in an explosion of swan feathers. Post War Glamour Girls then returned for an encore of hits from their previous albums. They began with “Sestra”, from their debut album “Pink Fur”, before finishing with an atmospheric and pounding rendition of “Cannonball Villages”. Just before they began “Cannonball Villages” a distorted image of Theresa May’s face was projected onto the wall behind them as James Smith said “Fight this woman and everything she stands for. Don’t buy into this shit!”