All hail guitar bands!

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GIG SCENE: THE guitar band is dead – well, certainly in terms of chart sales in the UK and US over the past few years. Oh, really?

A massive event taking place in Leeds tomorrow makes such a notion seem a bit ridiculous, writes GRAHAM CHALMERS.

More than 100 bands will be taking part in the annual indie feast that is Live at Leeds.

Running from noon to midnight in a dozen venues, almost all of them will be using guitars, usually quite prominently.

Not many of them will sound like AC/DC or Coldplay though some might be a bit formulaic in an ‘alt-indie’ sense, but most of the acts will be putting their guitars in the service of their own ideas and imagination in a thrillingly creative fashion.

Among the leading bands taking place will be Marina and the Diamonds, Ladyawke, The Enemy, The Subways, I Like Trains and S.C.U.M, though that’s not why I love Live at Leeds so much. The best thing about wandering from venue to venue all day during LaL are the bands you haven’t heard of who turn out to be really good by surprise – hidden gems round every corner.

www.liveatleeds.com

EXCITING Knaresborough-based rock band Silvertone are gearing up for their big support slot to We The Kings at The Cockpit in Leeds next Monday night.

The band also recorded a session online for the Ont’ Sofa studios in Harrogate recently which you can watch on YouTube.

www.leedsmusicscene.net

THE band that couldn’t die! More news of Wally, Harrogate’s famous prog-folk-country-rock band who split up (again!) last year.

If it was just my good self banging on about how good they were, that would be one thing.

But their last, self-financed album, Montpellier is selling well on the Gonzo label and now comes news that their original 1970s albums on Atlantic – Wally and Valley Gardens –are to be re-released properly with extra tracks and new sleeve notes by BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris.

Band members Roy Webber and Will Jackson are currently busy in the studio working on new tracks, too. Their debut album together – Jackson-Webber – is also to be re-released on Gonzo (www,gonzomultimedia.co.uk)

You can now tweet Wally @wallymusic and @jacksonwebberuk

IT was good to hear that RipleyBlues last show featuring Ian Parker was another sellout. Next up at Ripley Town Hall next Saturday, May 12 is a great double bill of local acts in the shape of the Dan Burnett Band and the Sharon Colgan Band. www.ripeyblues.com

IT’S May bank holiday (obviously) and there’s a good spread of live music locally from the Blues Bar to the Mitre in Knaresborough and beyond.

Among the ones to look out for, ever-popular covers act Dr Thirsty make a rare live appearance at The Alexandra in Harrogate this Sunday night while one of Harrogate’s best rock bands Kasiuss play Christies on Kings Road the same night.

As for Knaresborough, asides from Angie Shaw (with band) playing the Mitre on Sunday, there’s also a feast of 60s hits at King James’s School tonight, Friday when The Diamonds play a Jubilee Concert for Knaresborough Rotary Club from 7.30pm – and there’s a licenced bar!

A HOTLY-tipped Scottish band that went down a storm in last year’s South By Southwest Festival in the US are playing The Duchess in York next Tuesday night.

The literate, sophisticated and melodic Admiral Fallow have Elbow’s Guy Garvey and BBC DJ Bob Harris among their fans.

The band, who formed in 2007, feature flute, piano, vibraphone, double bass and guitars in their formidably atmospheric instrumental backing - not to forget haunting boy/girl vocals courtesy of frontman Louis Abbott and Sarah Hayes.

www.theduchessyork.co.uk

YOU can go your own way, go your own way-ay-ay. . .yes, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac are playing Harrogate’s Royal Hall next Friday, May 11. Despite all those great hits (Rhiannon, Don’t Stop, Dreams etc), I don’t usually go big on tribute acts. This one, however, comes with a recommendation by genuine, original Mac member Mick Fleetwood who describes them as “dear friends.”

Tickets from www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk