Leeds five-piece Menace Beach rock up at the Magnet – Getintothis’ Edward Feery reports on what was so nearly a perfect night
When perfection is so close at hand, it can be hard to see it torn away. So it proves downstairs at The Magnet.
Hotly-tipped Cestrian 3-piece Peaness provide an excellent opening to the evening. Rach, Balla and Jess wring every drop of melody out of their songs, delivering them with a refreshing lack of the usual posturing rock bullshit. It sets the bar for this evening very high.
Queen Zee and the Sasstones then go in an entirely different direction – taking to the stage clad in fur coats and skyscraper heels and launching into a breathtakingly short set of hyper-distorted, why-sing-when-you-can-shout LGBT agitpunk – pick of the litter being the Radio 1 selection I Hate Your New Boyfriend.
Leeds quartet Bruising prove to be a gem of a band, playing lashings of scuzzy dream-pop with an unbridled energy and evident joy just to be here doing this. It’s rare to see a band play with such a lack of self-consciousness, and utterly charming too.
The stage is set for Leodensian quintet Menace Beach, touring sophomore album Lemon Memory, to put a triumphant capper on an excellent evening – which makes it so frustrating when they don’t quite manage it.
Their set is bedevilled by mysterious sound issues, with techies constantly bobbing between stage and sound-desk in futile attempts to solve them. The most unfortunate victim is guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Liza Violet, whose twinkling vocals and swirling keys are frequently lost in the roar – a huge shame, as the moments when she does shine through reveal her to be the band’s beating heart.
The band’s particular kind of punk-psychedelia is still pretty good despite this – as evidenced by the crowd, who sing, dance and attempt to crowdsurf right to the bitter end – but it’s a naggingly underwhelming climax to the evening. Menace Beach deserve to do better.
Photos by Getintothis’ Tom Adam