The Mic takes a trip to Leeds as Nieve ODonnell reviews Bull's takeover of Brudenell Social Club.
Whilst Brudenell Social Club is a place for students to grab a cheap, northern pint and play a game of pool, the venue is also shrouded in the musical history of Leeds. Having seen the likes of Franz Ferdinand, the Kaiser Chiefs and, most recently, Tom Jones and Squid on the same evening, it seemed like a fitting place for originally York-based band Bull to play before embarking on the rest of their so far well-received nationwide tour.
Support act Luke Saxton’s acoustic fervour was infectious and a lot of his chord progressions resemble catchy, acoustic anthems such as those of The Beatles. Before Bull even enter the stage for their own set, they’re comfortable roaming the Brudenell and finish off the set of Luke Saxton with the addition of their full band, setting the gig up for an intimate, and I could extend to say, almost loving, atmosphere. It’s obvious that Bull love music for music’s sake, as does the crowd. Following Luke, riff-heavy Perspex took to Brudenell’s Community Room, jostling the crowd to a number of songs thematically based in sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Supporting Luke at the end of his set fostered a community feel that allowed Bull to interact with their audience on a level playing field. It was simple irony that the band was playing the community room, as opposed to Brudenell’s other gig room, which was taken over by The Smith’s tribute band The Smyths that night. The band took to playing favourites from their 2021 release Discover Effortless Living of which Green received a gentle sing-along from the audience, as did equally melodic Love Goo. Shiny Bowl lit up the room with the song’s use of more electric guitars as the crowd descended into one of the night’s first mosh pits, whilst Eddie’s Cap displayed frontman Tom Beer’s almost surprising aptitude for a bit of well-used screaming.
The band are an excellent example of a Northern band who have hit it big whilst relentlessly keeping their roots. Having been at the top of York’s gig listings for a few years, signing to EMI records at the end of 2020 felt appropriate and quite impressive considering they are the first York act to sign to the label since Shed Seven in the 90s. Knowing this, it’s refreshing to see a band promote so many upcoming musicians and bands so widely and diversely on a UK tour as well as join them on stage, rather than shying away from the crowd until the last minute.
Written by: Nieve ODonnell
Edited by: Amrit Virdi
Featured and in-article images and videos courtesy of Bull via Facebook.