Words: Frankie Torok Photography: Paul Smith/Zombie Teeth Photography
There’s no better way to spend your Friday night in Leeds than having a good old-fashioned knees-up, and no band does a knees-up better than The Bar Stool Preachers.
After the best part of two years away from the stage – whether that’s playing on it, or standing in front of it and dancing your troubles away – the atmosphere in the Brudenell Social Club was as electric as you can imagine, and the cure-all every person in that room needed.
Kid Klumsy kicked off the night’s shenanigans in a way only they could. Former Dirt Box Disco frontman Weab led the show with his signature style of stage presence meets social awkwardness, plowing through the band’s cheeky, catchy punk rock, sprinkled with the essence of ska. Easy to learn choruses and simple yet effective instrumentals made Kid Klumsy the perfect warm-up for tonight’s headliners.
Next up, Call Me Malcolm delivered their emotionally driven ska-punk, with lyrics that actually mean something. Horns always help to get a crowd going, and having their fair share of fans/friends in the crowd made warming up even easier, with the good vibes spreading quicker than Covid (too soon?). Their 2018 album, I Was Broken When You Got Here, is set out as a humorous self-help CD, and while their upbeat ska sound is far from meditative, they definitely provided a much-needed energetic and empathetic therapeutic experience.
Now onto the main attraction, the headliners, the top of the bill, The. Bar. Stool. Preachers. Bar Stool Preachers are the best live band in the UK *insert Change My Mind meme here*. No band wraps up as much engagement, energy, positivity, and rage into one neat little, flawlessly performed package as they do, led by the incomparable stage presence of TJ McFaull (son of none other than Cock Sparrer’s Colin McFaull).
Performing fan favorites from their back-catalog, and peppering in some new songs from their highly anticipated, long-awaited upcoming third album, the crowd were treated to sweet love songs and powerful protest anthems in the form of the BSP’s ska-veined punk rock.
Closing the set with an encore of their self-titled track, not one body in the room able to resist the knees-up, band, crowd, and all ended the night with endorphins running high, smiles all round, and racing hearts aching to do it all again.
Photos by creative genius Paul Smith/Zombie Teeth.