Everybody comes from somewhere. THE CHINESE STARS come from Providence Rhode Island and singer Eric Paul comes from ARAB ON RADAR. But together, tonight, in this room and with this crowd they could be going anywhere they wanted. It’s a small room and it's stuffed and steaming with educated young aesthetes doing deranged disco moves to a chimerical monster: part High Energy KELLY MARIE; part VILLAGE PEOPLE; part SHELLAC. It is a show. It’s the sausage in the gourmet hot dog of a great night out. Eric Paul is mincing and squirming and squealing his way through tortuous lines about teeth in your pocket and seaweed and the glue factory. Pointing and pouting and thrashing about all the while. Bass player Rick Ivan Pelletier is octave hopping like a true disco machine stuck fast on Craig Kureck's relentlessly clean drumming (with bump shee bump shee at max intensity and stylish sunglasses meticulously straight despite the muck, sweat and bullets.). Sonic intensity comes from the perfectly intonated shriekingly percussive guitar lines of Paul Viera. It shouldn’t work and I shouldn't like it. But it does, magnificently, and I love it. The crowd look like they're going to eat it.
THE CHINESE STARS' songs are such as can be found on their dangerously star-shaped EP "Turbo Mattress" (Chicago's Skingraft label). In the mayhem and thrills of the performance the nuances of surreal lyrics and algebraic melody lines are surrendered to the pulse and the volume. They don’t muck about with variety and loud bit quiet bit. They go full mad pelt for sensate overkill and stay there for the night. It's dangerously huge fun, it’s deadly serious and it knocks a visible hole in the neighbourhood. Be back soon.
KILL YOURSELF had raised the atmosphere for them to play into. KILL YOURSELF were frighteningly attired in underpants and full-face gas masks. They played like trained demons and sang through the torture of rubber and webbing till they qualified for humanitarian aid. Shockingly good home-grown agit-punk with very crisp super-driving bass lines and tumultuous guitar. Heroically loud and full of the desperation of being. Underground Premiership. Seek them out.
BIRDS OF DELAY (Luke and Steve from Nottingham collective BIRDS OF PREY) did a piece from behind the bar (I said it was full tonight) called "There's so much dude in the house". An ex Salvation Army tone generator was wired up to a toy record player, some sound processor gizmos and Luke's hair to howl industrial rock climbing adventure music through the PA with implausible textures and scary juddering. "play based leisure music" explains Steve. And a packet of crisps, please barman. Tonght I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.
DUNGEON DUNGEON opened up with two drummers two guitarists and no stopping.
Again, we stand back, arms raised in awe at the terrifying scale of talent pouring into, through and from the City of Leeds this year. Sell your house and move. Reschedule your Student Loan and transfer. The Cardigan Arms is on the outer fringe of music-drenched Leeds 6.