Riley and The Landau's - Hull University 16th February 04
By Nick Quantrill
As any keen reader of this website will know, one of the bands who have been getting consistently great reviews is Riley.
So I say to myself; Get yourself down to the university and review them.
We love Riley atthisisull.com
(only more politely of course!). How could I refuse this kamikaze mission?!
It was the first time I've been to a gig in the student's union bar so I was impressed to see a reasonable turnout.
It wasn't exactly heaving at the bar, but I suppose Monday night gigs are for only the most committed of gig goers.
I do wish though that the university were a bit user-friendlier to the non-students.
It kind of feels like you need a map, compass and the navigational skills of Christopher Columbus to find what you're looking for on the campus.
After hunting down the John McCarthy Bar, the first band up was The Landau's.
After reading the glowing CD review and scouring the local press for details I was curious to see them.
The Landau's didn't really do it for me though.
The Landau's were exactly what you would expect from a band that has been going for less than a year.
When they hit the target, they hit it.
Their blend of 60's Rolling Stones/Beatles sounds mixed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers made for some catchy tunes powered by the drummer who was top quality.
When they sucked though, they really sucked.
Too many of the songs sounded like various different ideas bolted together creating an unwieldy and messy sound.
I suspect once they tighten up as a unit, they will improve markedly so I shall place them in my 'promising, check back in a year' file.
In contrast to The Landau's, you could tell Riley were old hands from the moment they hit the stage.
It showed. In the main Riley were tight, professional and focused throughout.
Sound-wise, they come across (to me at least) as a mixture of the likes of Coldplay with a dash of The Beatles thrown in for good measure.
Definitely contemporary but with a knowing nod to the past.
The new single, Sit Up was the highlight of the set for me with the tracks on the new disc showing how the band is improving and progressing.
They were great, and with a bit of luck, will do well with record label Mi5 Recordings UK .
The only slight criticism was that they did appear to be a little jaded, and dare I say it, a little unenthusiastic at times.
I suppose that can be put down partly to travelling across the country to Hull on a wet Monday night, and partly to banging their heads against the brick wall that is the record industry.
If talent were the sole factor involved in getting a record deal, Riley would be fending off the offers.
That's not how it works but I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for Riley.
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