Review: 14 Harrogate acts shine at big indie gig

A leading Leeds rapper who started his musical life in jam sessions at Harrogate's Blues Bar unveiled his latest track at a hometown gig.

Friday, 14th December 2018, 2:25 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 2:38 pm
Lence - Impressive performance at Charm's 20th Anniversary gig in Harrogate at The Regency. (Picture by Bill Bartlett)

Lence was just one of 14 acts of all shades of music and poetry to appear at indie night Charm’s 20th anniversary event at The Regency in Harrogate last weekend which was hailed by the man in charge as the busiest Sunday the venue had had in ages.

Featuring everything from spoken word performances by counter culture legend Heath Common and environmentally-friendly poet Emma Nicholson and haunting avant folk by the duo Hawthonn to thrilling punk rock by The Tea Towels, Lence unveiled Collide, which was produced for release by Minos.

Hawthonn - Phil and Layla Legard in stunning form at The Regency in Harrogate during Charm's 20th Anniversary. (PIcture by graham Chalmers)

Startled members of the crowd were shocked by the appearance of Leeds-based avant garde noise maker Legion of Swine, who wandered through the venue dressed in a boiler suit making animal noises with loop pedals in a scaty Dr Who-like moment!

In complete contrast, Harrogate’s veteran king of the keyboards, 82-year-old Derry Jones, received a rousing reception for his potted history of the blues, jazz, boogie woogie and rock n roll.

In quieter moments, two acoustic acts gave impressive performances - girl/boy duo The Paper Waits and Johnny Skinner of rock band The Omega Era, who was making his solo debut.

Also making their live debut was a brilliant new band led by Harrogate indie pop great Dan Webster, featuring Adam Westerman on drums and Ben Harvey on bass.As well as great new songs such as Hurriance Party, the new band performed the sublime Sungold Shelters, a superb song which appeared on Dan's last solo album.

On stage in Harrogate - Johnny Skinner of rock band The Omega Era, who was making his solo debut at Charm's 20th Anniversary gig.

In complete contrast, there was haunting, occasionally disturbing, but always stunningly beautiful avant-ambient folk by the brilliant Phil and Layla Legard. Phil first appeared on a Charm bill in 2004.

An unexpected highlight were The Tea Towels from Leeds who ripped through tongue-in-cheek punk/post-punk and offered a rude song about Theresa May.

Very impressively blending a post-Rave chill out vibe with a later 60s/early 70s hippie groove was opening acts Lex and Lobo.It was great to see Dave Cooke, founding member of cult Leeds band and a John Peel favourite, the Landspeed Loungers, back in action again, albeit in slightly nervously in his Gigantelope guise.

Also putting the noise into Charm's 20th Anniversary gig was the hi-energy and very loud punk band Misery Bids.