The Basement – Leeds Cockpit – 16 July 2006
A quiet Sunday evening in Leeds, not many people around. We went to the Cockpit to check out Irish folk rockers The Basement following the release of new (and excellent I might add) album ‘Illicit Hugs and Playground Thugs’.
First onstage were a melodic Sertoli, who were technically good and very entertaining but also rather tranquil. Their songs were well written and the vocals were excellent, but it’s more music to relax to, and the pace almost lulled me into an early Sunday snooze.
I was quickly snapped out of the trance and awoken with a bang by next band The Isles. The local boys put on an awesome show and within seconds of playing had brought in a bigger audience, turned up the volume and completely turned around the mood. The Isles played an impressive set with fiercesome levels of energy, dancing their way through their set with vocalist enchanting the small crowd with cheeky banter and a powerful presence. The songs themselves were upbeat, fun and down to earth and I would encourage anyone to take a listen at www.ilovetheisles.com. I would eat my hat if this band doesn’t make it.
The Basement entered the stage on an awesome vibe thanks to The Isles and they sure as hell weren’t going to let that slip! Playing several songs from ‘Illicit Hugs…’, the Basement played smoothly on and you would have to be half dead to resist dancing along with this band! Their folk rock combination provided a unique and feel-good soundtrack for the rest of the evening, husky vocals gravelly yet soft and soothing. The highlights for me were the gorgeous song ‘When Tomorrow Comes’ and ‘When The Night’s Gone Blue’. The Basement complete with beaming faces and straw hats look like a really happy set of guys, and this does project forward to the audience – I stood with a big smile on my face the whole way through. Music for the soul, no less, and I’m already looking forward to the next time.
You can find more information on the Basement at www.thebasement.co.uk , and I would highly recommend purchasing a copy of ‘Illicit Hugs and Playground Thugs’ as soon as you can.