Live at Dog and Parrot, Newcastle

The Dog and Parrot in Newcastle was the scene for a LOUD triple header which would would be a kind of musical hair of the dog for anyone feeling a sense of Sunday night lull. And the loudest of the lot (so loud that the sound guy unwittingly introduced their set by saying “this is going to be too loud”, a pointer which was duly ignored) were on first. Year Of Birds are a four piece from Middlesbrough who play a bunch of punchy sub-one minute tunes without taking a breath in between. If Marks E Smith had recruited a speed metal band at some point in his career, and each party had taken an oath to learn from one another then they might sound a bit like this (then again they might not). Heavy on the riffs and tight as tight can be they certainly did their best to blow away the cobwebs. Stuck in the middle were Lunn Poly, and here are three things i noticed about Lunn Poly. 1) Their name, Lunn Poly (presumably christened in honour of the now defunct travel agent) is odd. 2) They are young, very young, and they are unashamedly enjoying themselves on stage. 3) They are a three-piece and you can’t beat a good three piece. They actually sound a lot like a very early Therapy? (although they may not be aware of this), un-honed and unpredictable with a very promising drummer. One to keep an eye out for in Newcastle perhaps. Headliners Milk Maid do not look like a pop band, but there are some blatant pop sensibilities inherent in their act. Despite their reputation as a front runner in the re-birth of Shoegaze they have a penchant for some borderline Britpop riffs which have more of an air of Bernard Butler about them. The Britpop movement was famously kick started by British bands lashing out at the Grunge/Shoegaze scenes so it’s fair to say that the genres didn’t see eye to eye, but Milk Maid seem to have taken the better elements of each and bundled them into a pretty satisfying little package. They fly through a set of hazy melodies drenched in distortion, focussing on their imminent and excellent new record Mostly No, and peaking with the unusually sparse “Stir So Slow”. A fine set which indicates that frontman Martin Cohen has finally found the band and the sound which suits his undeniable song writing talents. Visit Year Of Birds’ bandcamp Buy Mostly No by Milk Maid

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Milk Maid
Fat Cat