Thursday, 14 October 2010

British Sea Power - Tokyo Nightclub, Huddersfield

'I rode over mountains to Huddersfield, a wilder people I never did see' John Wesley, 1757

The Huddersfield landscape has changed quite considerably over the past 250 years (though Merrie England Coffee Shop on a Saturday afternoon can still be quite raucous), but despite its recent cosmopolitan face lift, the town is still without a recognised live music venue, the type that attracts the calibre of bands that are regulars on the 6 Music playlist or current darlings of the NME/Uncut/Q/Mojo (delete where appropriate).

Though the history books will show that during Christmas 1977, Huddersfield played host to the final shows The Sex Pistols played in the UK; over the past thirty years, the town has become somewhat of a popular music wasteland, and can only lay claim to be the hometown of indie landfill founders, Embrace and for the local College being the further education alma mater of Justin Hawkins from plastic metallers The Darkness.

So it came as some surprise, that British Sea Power (on their night off from supporting the Manics on their UK tour, no less) decided to rock up to Huddersfield to perform an intimate gig at Tokyo's nightclub.

With new e.p. Zeus and album Valhalla Dancehall to promote, not to mention a fine line in quirky merchandise, the band performed a raucous set to a small but appreciative audience. While the band seemed very much at home with performing the new material, it was old classics such as Carrion, Waving Flags, Louis and set closer Lucifer that had the crowd (especially the two Reni look-a-likes from Lincoln) punching the air with delight.

With The Bluetones and The Sunshine Underground up next at Tokyo's, and the Holmfirth Picturedrome continuing to attract acts such as The Fall and Badly Drawn Boy, Huddersfield appears to be finally shaking off the ghosts of Christmas past.

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