Various Cruelties – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. Review & pictures

Posted on 30 September 2011
By Cat Marr & Danny Payne
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Brudenell Social club is so hot that even the brick work at the back of the stage is perspiring and as Various Cruelties’ support act Soul Circus come on stage, they too start melting before our eyes.

The Leeds five piece have the look of your stereotypical indie band, sharp hair cuts and modish style. Their look might indicate that you are instantly able to pin point their sound, but you would be wrong.

Soul Circus perform strong catchy indie anthems, with catchy hooks and great backing coupled with a really unique voice.

The front man’s distinctive voice is akin to Morrisey or Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton and his performance style just as individual. Using his mic and mic lead as a lasso he half-heartedly swings in a small circle in the air, looking like a bewildered cowboy trying to catch the drum beat.

Their performance is almost flawless and their sound is extremely well crafted and rehearsed. The band though having quite a small crowd to perform to played confidently with the attitude of playing to thousands.

Gigs in the Brudenell Social club are always intimate but tonight was probably one of the most personal that you could experience.

Various Cruelties front man Liam O’Donnell hails from Leeds and because of this Various Cruelties couldn’t have had a more supportive crowd. Groups of people formed around the stage calling out Liam’s name and offering support whilst brimming with pride.

Liam begins by saying ‘How Do’ and instantly, friend or newcomer, you know that the gig will be a friendly one. He addresses people in the crowd by name and as he performs the “pinch me” look warms over his face.

The band are slick and the songs have several noteable influences; indie, pop, jazz and reggae and together these create a very original sound indeed.

O’Donnell’s voice is smooth as butter with a tangy finish, his vocal style could perhaps be compared to Finley Quaye or Vampire Weekends’ Ezra Koening.

He stops for intervals to have micro conversations with his friends and supporters before blowing the audience away from another powerful track.

The best performances of the night were “If it wasn’t for you” and the haunting “She’s the one”. As you listened to the smooth lyrics and cool melodies Liam looks around the room and the intimacy of the gig was really apparent then.

You realised that you could be standing next to anyone of his muses and this just made the performance that little bit magical.

Photos by Danny Payne
Words by Cat Marr