On Wednesday evening I headed to the familiar surroundings of the Brudenell Social Club to catch the single launch show of Leeds 9-piece progressive soul/jazz outfit Necktr, supported by local favourites Long Legged Creatures and Tall Talker.
Opening the show was Tall Talker. Their unique fusion of jazz, funk and a more chaotic math-rock sound kicked off the night’s proceedings with a magnificent richness. The 3-piece band sounded mammoth, effortlessly blending extravagant harmonics with heavier, more unhinged influences. The songs were memorable and dynamic and the musical proficiency on offer was staggeringly good. With their debut EP set to be released soon, they’re definitely one to keep an eye on.
Next up was Long Legged Creatures, a band I had seen for the first time just a few months ago supporting Noya Rao at the equally great Headrow House venue. Being more familiar with their songs this time around, combined with the unrivalled sound of the main stage at the Brudenell, I felt I was able to immerse myself more fully in their set on this occasion.
Simply put, there is something special about their sound that is difficult to pin down and all I can advise is going to see them live to fully grasp what they are aiming for. The upbeat electronic soundscapes mixed with the infectious grooves of the drums and bass guitar are equally heavy and melodic, creating contrasting layers of sound that fuse together beautifully. The band were on top form and had the entire room dancing in an instant, warming the crowd up perfectly for the headline act. For those who wish to listen to their music, the track Moving To Noises is available on Soundcloud.
Finally, it was time for Necktr to take to the stage, with a headline set prepared in support of the release of their fantastic new single While You’re Dreaming.
Necktr have been making waves in the UK music scene with their highly esteemed soul-jazz-afrobeat-hip-hop hybrid for several years now and their determination to create something momentous has clearly paid off. The venue was completely full – giving an insight to the growing popularity of the band. The performance from lead vocalist Esme Bridie was soulful and dramatic, with her stirring vocal style complementing the raw genius of the band perfectly.
The 9-piece integrate such a remarkable wealth of influences into their sound that it is impossible to resist, and with each member providing a vital piece of the puzzle, it unfolds impressively in a live environment. The performance was slick and seasoned, going from delicate rhythmical sections to all-out transcendental intensity with an inspiring and organic flow. Whether you like jazz, soul, pop, funk, hip-hop or even rock, there is something for everyone to be found in Necktr and in general, the musical dexterity and humble brilliance of the band cannot be overstated.
It was great to see such a strong turnout for a weekday gig comprised entirely of bands from the local area, testament to the continued growth of the live music scene in Leeds and of course, the unbeatable quality and diversity of the bands that reside here. I look forward to seeing Necktr live again soon and indeed where their musical endeavours take them in the future.
The new single While You’re Dreaming is available now on all major streaming platforms, with the EP release to follow shortly.
Gary writes for Leeds Living on contemporary music, being an avid goer of gigs and a supporter of local talent.