Leeds is quickly gaining the reputation as the teeming musical hotbed of British rock. Sort of a Nineties Seattle, but with Tetley's and hotpot.
Whilst fellow Leodisian Brit Award winners, Kaiser Chiefs have been soaking up the plaudits, some of the finest, genuine rock talent in the land has quietly amassed itself around the banner of Leeds-based label, Dance To The Radio.
Boasting acts such as ¡Forward, Russia!, This Et Al and Napoleon IIIrd to name just a few, the dynamic young label launched its showcase album, What We All Want, at Birmingham's Barfly.
¡Forward, Russia!, prime movers behind the success of the label, headlined the event in their usual, emphatic style. Their live performances are never far off exceptional and, as they reel off their numerically-titled hits, including
recent singles twelve and thirteen/fourteen, tonight is to be no different.
¡Forward, Russia!, with their jerky, electric riffs, pounding beats and howling vocal mania from frontman/mic-wire escapist Tom, they are a throbbing kinetic entity which hits the stage at full throttle and doesn't let up.
Easily squaring up to other contemporary rock bands, they are without the irksome maudlin of Editors, and avoid any sense of tongue-in-cheek novelty of the Kaiser Chiefs.
Set apart by genuine talent, they are simply a great band, playing some of the most well-crafted and unnervingly danceable rock around.
With competent support supplied by label-mates Bam Bam Francs and the red-hot Red Cars Go Faster, who also feature on the album, it was undoubtedly ¡Forward, Russia!'s night.
With a forthcoming mini-tour of the States and the promise of an album later this year, this is a band who deserve it all.
Stefan Kucharczyk ..SUPL: