Kill The Pain and Nouvelle Vague: at Old Woollen in Farsley on 22 February

Leeds is renowned for great venues. We are so lucky to live in a city where we have such a bustling music scene, Recently, I got to discover a new venue (to me) – the Old Woollen, at Sunny Bank Mills. 

The Old Woollen is nestled in with other really amazing businesses, such as bars, eateries and not to mention a record store. I feel venues like this can often be overlooked because they’re not in the City Centre but Farsley has a lovely up and coming village vibe to it. Easy enough to get to by car with ample parking and lots of public transport links, being not too far from Pudsey.

Photograph by E Arapi

When I got into the venue I was shocked at how large it was. The stage set up was really impressive, with colourful lighting throughout the room and a fabulously camp silky curtain backdrop. A really fitting venue for Kill the Pain and Nouvelle Vague. 

The audience was straight in for doors and a lot of people were claiming their spots near the front way in advance; a rare thing to see at most gigs other than arena shows. There was also a really lovely seated area at the side of the room for people to either relax before the show or used to enhance the venue’s already impressive accessibility.  

First act of the night was French duo Kill the Pain, who said they met whilst touring with other musicians and decided to form the band. They opened with track Zig Zag, which had a dominating bass line. Kill the Pain was somehow channelling both futuristic and retro vibes. A standout accessory for the band was the tinsel headpiece. I would love to know where it was purchased as I would wear this every day. 

Photograph by Rod Maurice

There was a lot of dancing on stage and just a pure enjoyment from the band. This felt like they really put their all into the performance. I love nothing more than when a band has a concept or persona and you knew who Kill the Pain were and what they were about the second they started robot dancing onto the stage. A really funny interaction with the audience which flowed great into the song was shouting at a man in the audience and telling him off for standing on her “big French foot”. Their performance went down a treat. There was a lot of dedicated Nouvelle Vague fans in the audience, a lot of whom were donning band merch, but they were all united dancing away to Kill the Pain’s fun Euro Pop.

Between bands, I wandered over to the merch tent to see what was on offer, I find you can get a great feel for an artist by the merch they sell at a show (some great ones from the past have included Henge at Brude’s zines). Both acts had T-shirts for sale from around £25-35 which is the standard price these days for merch. We do need to keep in mind that merch sales are a really great way to support artists, so if you can buy then do. 

Photograph by Rod Maurice

Now it was time for Nouvelle Vague and for our French speakers out there, they will know this translates to “New Wave”. What sets the band apart from most is that they are essentially a cover band. Unlike your usual cover bands, Nouvelle Vague almost remix the songs they perform so you do have that moment of recognition when listening but the spin they will put on tracks makes you hear songs in a completely different way. To my surprise, they played one of my favourite songs “Only You” by Yazoo and with the atmospheric lighting cloaking the room it was a beautiful pairing. A lot of the tracks played were big 80’s hits such as songs by The Cure and Depeche Mode which were given great feedback from the audience. 

I will be returning to Sunny Bank Mills to really soak up what the place has to offer and will be sure to catch Kill the Pain and Nouvelle Vague again if I can. 

Main image by E Arapi. All photography provided by Sonic PR.

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