The latest hipster gathering place in Leeds assembled yet another exciting line-up for the launch night of Post War Glamour Girl’s second album Feeling Strange. Headrow House is a chic but understated venue, choosing to let the acts they book pull the crowds rather than gimmicks or over elaborate themed decor.
The back of the stage is illuminated by some Mondrian style artwork as Post War Glamour Girls arrive and open with “Little Land”. From the offset there is a noticeable difference in their performance, it’s a much more controlled display laden with swagger, attitude and angst. “Little Land” was played at a higher tempo which gave the sense of being more angry and powerful than the album version. Whenever I have seen them play previously drummer Ben Clyde and guitarist James Thorpe-Jones, whilst undoubtedly being musicians of the highest quality, have seemed to be the quieter members of the group seemingly happy to get on with their work while avoiding the limelight. A mark of how the band has progressed is the confidence evident within the two formally more reserved members, both have trendy new haircuts and a more eye catching dress sense. Thorpe-Jones in particular has blossomed into much more of a stage presence.
The large gig space at Headrow House provided excellent acoustics, aided by the low ceiling, with Alice Scott’s bass rumbling through the venue. It was a very loud and powerful set with the only slight disappointment being that lead singer James Smith’s engaging vocals and Scott’s effortlessly, angelic harmonies were occasionally drowned out by the ferocity of the guitars.
After playing “Count Your Blessings” from the very recent album Feeling Strange the ever progressive and evolving band played “Organ Donor”, a new track which will feature on their next album. The vocals were delivered in a style that vaguely seemed like a cross between Mark E. Smith and John Cooper Clarke set to a bass heavy, funk influenced track.
The night ended with rousing rendition of “Cannonball Villages”. As the track builds James Smith marched through the audience in the middle of his impassioned rant vocals before returning to the stage for one last explosive chorus, as his vocals intensified into screams. I see Post War Glamour Girls as Roman gladiators and most well know indie bands are just WWE wrestlers in comparison. Post War Glamour Girls are the ones taking genuine risks and trusting in their skills and therefore providing the more genuine and exciting experience, where as the majority of other bands are providing a dumbed down imitation with all the risks and creativity removed.