The Stockroom couldn’t have picked a more mismatched yet fantastic collection of bands for their ‘X-Ray Horse night’, which specialises in showcasing local new talent.
The first band were quirky folk-rock band, Goodnight Lenin, equipped with many strings – 3 guitars, a banjo and a violin, the five plaid wearing band members filled a half hour set with short, catchy indie tunes. The use of three vocalists and the aforementioned string section gave the band a grander feel than the numbers suggested. In parts they sounded a little like the Fleet Foxes and in others a little Mystery Jets, essentially though, they are an individual sound. Their fun vibe gave them a good stage presence despite their rough-around–the-edges performance. It’s the kind of EP you’d play if you were driving your mum to the dentist!
The standard of the night was raised considerably when Sheffield based band, The Dead Delta took to the stage. Their 40-minute set was a perfectly orchestrated blues infused rock feast. Their music is in the same genre as The Black Keys or perhaps BRMC, and at points singer, Joe Hudson sounded like vocalist, Mark Everett from The Eels. This is a sound that isn’t around that often and when executed well, like this, it’s almost impossible to dislike. The band has a great stage presence; carrying themselves and their music incredibly professionally. Instantly notable, even if blues or rock isn’t your thing, is the irresistibility of their sound, with raucous drumbeats and impressive guitar solos it showcases their skills as musicians and songwriters. They played an incredibly tight and accomplished set, it’s no surprise that they have been dubbed one of Sheffield’s ‘hottest new bands’.
The headlining band were Leeds based act, Paper Tiger. A plethora of genres gave the band their individuality. It wasn’t funk, jazz, reggae or even hip-hop but a seamless fusion of all. A combination of hip–hop and house beats were laid by band member, DJ Vital played over by a drummer, keyboardist and bassist and interjected by a jazzy saxophonist and rapped vocals to finish of this elaborate game of musical statues.
They classify their music as ‘Broken beat, dubstep, hip-hop,’ though this doesn’t do justice to the sound that this 8- piece creates. At points it was stripped down to dirty dub beats, in others beautiful atmospheric saxophone. Ultimately, it’s just composed of well thought beats and lyrics, creating a sound which is impossible to stand still to. They were a truly innovative act, capturing the entire audience’s attention. Vocalist, Raphael Attar was incredibly talented and one of the few white British rappers who isn’t instantly associable to Mike Skinner. He was charming and not afraid to step back from the band and let them produce uninteruppted instrumental for a while, the sign of a cohesive and accomplished group.
‘X-Ray Horse IV’ was a great window into the current local music scene, the fifth night of this kind is on the 20th of February and will be a celebration of its first birthday, a night, if as good as the last, not to be missed.