Spring is the time of new beginnings and on a mild March evening the gathered crowds sat round the tables outside The Lending Room in Leeds were waiting for just that, a new beginning. Friday evening saw four unsigned bands from the North come together on one bill under the banner of a 360 Club event, ostensibly to launch a new single by Wuzi but equally to gather more support for all the bands on the bill.
First on were Tusk who, having caught the eye of BBC Introducing and played at the Leeds/ Reading festival, are currently on a sabbatical while they contemplate their future either as Tusk or under another moniker. Whoever these talented individuals end up playing with I’m sure they’ll do well as the skillful playing and clear songwriting talent shines through. The bassist was quietly funky, drummer noisily energetic and vocal, the band seem like a nice bunch of lads as they gave a masterclass in sixties tinged commercial alt rock. A solid start to the evening.
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Second to the stage were Serratone who have grins as wide as their riffs were big. Think Royal Blood mixed with bursts of Red Hot Chili Peppers and an undercurrent of Slaves. The tempo in the room was taken up another notch, as was the atmosphere. In an industry with a notable resurgence of punk this Mancunian three piece could do well. Cabezudos were on next and whilst the singer seemed to be attempting to channel the spirit of Jim Morrison they did something he didn’t, outstayed their welcome.
Finally, but with time shortened by prior events, Wuzi took to the stage. They are an unassuming bunch but when the amps get switched on they go large! The wall of sound which confronts you is strongly at odds with lead singer Callum’s anglicised Cobain delivery. Delicate, sweet, but powerful he is a singer slightly out of step with our times, maybe behind, maybe ahead, there’s not many people who sound like this and it really works. The band sound expansive live with their swooping melodies and the constant backdrop of distortion. It’s a grungy updated 90s Britpop/Madchester/Seattle fusion with added Jesus and Mary Chain. The constant personal threat of swinging guitar heads aside, Wuzi are a chaotic band, bass player managed to unplug himself, guitarist lost his strap within seconds and Callum ended up almost trapped under a microphone in an attempt to continue playing and singing whilst the mic stand slipped (he succeeded). The audience adored it and soon a messy mosh pit appeared which was somewhat bigger than when we last saw it when Serratone were on (possibly due to Serratone now being part of it). All too soon it was done, Wuzi took the mantle of headliners and ran with it leaving us slightly dazed as the feedback faded. If this is the future, Simon Cowell hasn’t won yet.