Monteys Rock Cafe Harrogate
Saturday 7th July 2012
Tipped by the Stone Roses and LTW favourites for a couple of years Dirty North are one of the most exciting young bands in the UK and proof of the vibrant band scene in the country beyond what the media tells you…
Betty’s Tea Rooms, Yorkshire tea and Spa water, definitely not the first place one would think of an emerging rock ”Ën’ roll scene but Harrogate (and surrounding towns) is currently buzzing with talented groups. Graham Chalmers, entertainment editor of the local Newspaper has been vocal in his support of the towns music scene for some years and with his organising of the Harrogate fringe festival hopefully his support will begin to bear fruit.
Make no mistake, to get Dirty North, a band championed by one of the greatest drummers of all time in Reni, to a town like Harrogate is huge and Montey’s was absolutely buzzing with excitement last night. I got down early to hear two of the best local bands, Silvertone and the Four45s soundcheck before their support slots.
Silvertone, on first, kicked off with their first single release “Alive”Â obvious Foo Fighters influences and big guitars really filled the small venue. Vocals from guitarist and lead singer James Weller are melodic and thoughtful. Through the heavy guitars and bass of George Tyreman and Jack Meredith you really begin to see why the band is thought of so highly in the area. Michael Turnbull’s drums, rather than just keep time, are integral to the playing of the four-piece, energetic and innovative he never misses a beat. Ripping through the rest of their set, Alliance, Lift Off and Danger all show that Silvertone have the songs to produce an LP of some real substance for the genre, following in the same vein as the debut single, whilst loud, are melodic. All four band members bring their own individual stamp to each song and after a brilliantly energetic twist on the classic Beatles tune “HELP!”Â Weller has the whole venue singing Happy Birthday to Tyreman on the day of his 21st.Re-enforcing the Foo’s influence a cover of “My Hero”Â leads into the last song “Town Called Home”Â which, with the up-coming scene in Harrogate and Knaresborough, is especially poignant tonight. Melodic, tight, loud, powerful. Silvertone have a bit of everything!
The Four45s are very much a rock ”Ën’ roll force. Tonight playing with stand in drummer Chris with Nick McTague being out of the country, kick off with the epic “Lucio”Â sung by usual bassist Rufus Beckett see’s lead singer Joe Flanagan, on bass (confused yet?) The catchy, sing along chorus proves an instant hit with the ever increasing crowd, guitarist Nick Turner offers the verses real depth and melody with his superb playing. Next up is the song that shows the group have a real social conscience; “Paradigm Apocalypse”Â was born out of the London Riots of last summer and see’s Joe and Rufus switch back to their usual roles, the band are tight and with Chris doing a stellar job as a stand in, having only rehearsed with the band twice it leaves you wondering what heights this band will reach when they are at full strength.
It’s at this point of the set 3 young lads from Manchester start lugging bits of kit through the crowd and excitement reaches fever pitch, this gets through to the guys on stage and, with Jonny stood right at the front, clearly enjoying the Four45s. Funnily enough, the next song played is “Jonny Says”Â which sees more roars of approval from the increasingly excited crowd, is another potential single while “Wind Blows”Â and “Down the River”Â show off the incredible technical ability of the group. Final song “Encore Tricolore”Â is another catchy sing-a-long chorus about an ugly girl getting men drunk to bed them. “Inhabitation, is a suction this is her game plan, its how she gets her man”Â clever, catchy funny, brilliant. The four45s really are one to watch out for.
And so, onto the main event, Dirty North, Jonny, Palmer and Dave take to the stage “How you doin?”Â Jonny asks before they tear into crowd favourite “Take me Away”Â Palmer and Dave keeping everything tight with ska/reggae bass and drums while Jonny raps and sings like his life depends on it, full of energy and aggression, they have the whole place moving.
“Hip Hop Rap”Â was next up and I was really moving by now, I can’t dance, at all. I look like a granny trying to stop herself from falling over on ice, but I couldn’t help it. These involuntary spasms continue through “No Hard Feelings”Â “No Sleep”Â and “Fresh Bad Track”Â.
“Just Me”Â and “Weed Life”Â are set staples and the contingent of diehard fans that had travelled over from Manchester were rapping and singing every word.
At the end of the set I got the chance to chat with Dave and Jonny with Nick and Joe of The Four45s, I asked why they had not played my personal favourite “D’ya know what I think?”Â and Dave said “We just have so many tunes now”Â
What can be said about Dirty North that hasn’t already been covered by Reni, John Robb or Jon McClure? They are simply phenomenal, to see a band so revered by their peers, in such a small venue was really a pleasure and lets make no bones about it, alongside the 2 local bands, they absolutely smashed it.