Cold. Damp. Dreary. For the most, that’s the vibe restricted to our venue’s outer peripherary this evening, cheers to one ‘Beast from the East’ having popped into Leeds a little earlier. To be fair, The Chapel isn’t the warmest of places at any given time - not at all surprising of a previous church – and it definitely could have done with somebody turning the heating up somewhat.
Still, supporting band When Young manage to add a decent splash of colour to an otherwise grey and ‘almost-empty’ interior, booted and bright boiler suited as they are. A three-piece from Limerick, now settled in London, they come armed with a handful of catchy, Indie-pop tunes which livens up the small crowd present. You can’t fail to notice their roots in every song, lead singer and bassist Aoife Power’s fired up, high pitched vocals full of that poetic charm you find in many an Irish voice, with lyrics both heart-felt and edgy during tracks about a ‘hell on earth’ and the tragedy that was Grenfell Tower. And, all of this backed up by some decent guitar work that’s utterly riff-tastic and with plenty of scratching in places, too.
Then onto our headliner, Husky Loops. What to say? Well, to begin with, it quickly becomes apparent how these three lads might have derived their collective name... And, secondly, whilst at first glance they may look your traditional three-piece band - all dressed in black, with drum kit and a couple of guitars to hand - their music is anything but standard. The Italian-born, now London-based, Art Rockers spend the evening providing us with a lesson in musical contradictions, wreaking their unconventional havoc upon us for just shy of an hour with a style of music difficult to pin down but magnificently audible, none the less. Beats switch quickly from repetitive to random, melodies from dark to light-hearted and compositions from detailed to hap-hazard. They play all of their songs to a never-ending, looped backing track of ‘all sorts’; minus a couple of several-second interludes, where the lead singer pays homage to the cooler climate – and their “dickhead” promoter for booking them into gigs in a freezer department – their entire set is one long collection of shorter pieces, fused together by an eclectic mix of samples, featuring everything from hip-hop beats to mid-twentieth century style vocals. From start to finish, it’s akin to one long squealy, scratchy, noisy experiment and our ears are the lab rats. But, we survived and all lucky enough to hear the Loops tonight appear ready for their follow-up dose.