Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds

part-time punks
April 30, 2022

The bank holiday weekend offered an adventure for our fiercely Mancunian writer Iain Key, as he ventured across the Pennines to attend Part Time Punks, a band of 8, all-day curated extravaganza , curated and hosted by Jay and Erin from the Nervous Twitch group.

Today’s setting is Wharf Chambers, a bar and multi-purpose venue in central Leeds run by a worker co-op. There’s a Youth Club vibe which is quite appropriate, considering that as the day progresses it feels more like your cool mate’s party than a concert. Right off the bat, there’s a warm and friendly atmosphere with several bands and performers already in attendance, many of whom sit outside and make the most of the sunshine. Jay and Erin are doing a fantastic job of putting this together, the idea being that they would bring together a few bands they’ve enjoyed seeing or playing with, some of whom are already friends, and also invite a few bands they want to see live. A pretty smart move when you think about it. What’s even smarter is that they put themselves forward so they can get away from it all and enjoy the day, that’s also a measure of their humility and they really are lovely people.

There’s a real buzz like Nervous jerk take the stage at 4:30 p.m. Sound man Alex Greenwood, who is doing a fantastic job throughout the event, does the final checks and the band opens with Count Your Blessings and Tongue Tied, the first two tracks from their latest album. Just under half of the set is from their self-titled 2021 release with favorites from previous albums I Won’t Hide and Get Back In Line also included. Nervous Twitch is the sound of the Ramones surfing; this is best evidenced on Tarrantino Hangover, an instrumental that sounds like it fell straight from the big screen. We’re also treated to Twitch’s version of I Could Be In Heaven. The original Flatmates is essential to any C86 mixtape but I have to admit the more I hear this version the more I like it. The band closes with two tracks from their upcoming album; due out later this year; Social Chameleon and Forgive Myself, which fit together perfectly.

Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds
Nervous jerk

Then we have Sheffield Everyone down! As with many bands on the bill, I had heard but not seen them before. Their 2020 album Staying Afloat is one I’ve played often over the last 18 months or so and couldn’t wait to see them. They do not disappoint. I like to think the word shambolic is positive when it comes to those clearly influenced by the DIY labels of Sarah Records and Subway Organization, so I hope they won’t mind me describing them as such. As a quartet, they play several tracks from the album, with Elodie, Tonieee and Chris taking turns on lead vocals. They’re a friendly, quirky band who enjoy their time on stage as much as the audience watching them. Along with the first “false start” of the day (there will be many more to come, all greeted with laughter and applause), they are the only band to pay tribute to the band that the Part Time Punks “named” the event with their version of Geoffrey Ingram.

Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds
Everyone down!

The experimental futuristic post-punk of Louder Than War favorites follows with Dirtiness take the stage shortly after 6 p.m. They are some of the acts I was looking forward to. The fusion of Sachiko’s guitar-led Japanese psyche topped with the abrasive vocals of Leon The Pig Farmer is a stark contrast to the first two bands, yet fits right into the bill. The sound that comes from the guitar and effects pedals is amazing and hypnotic as you focus on delivering the lyrics. Looking around the audience, I wasn’t the only one mesmerized into a trance like state by the performance as the duo worked on several tracks from the Psycher-Billy release including The Bully, Astral Elevator and Dream State. . It’s not always a comfortable listen but it’s thoroughly engrossing.

Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds

I wanted to see The red spots again after recently catching them at the Retro Bar in Manchester. They do not disappoint. The 3 pieces of Natalie Emslie, Sterling Kelly and Ben Dutton certainly hold your attention. Ben is perhaps the best dressed on the show today in his rockabilly splendor, enhanced by a Steve Jones “boobs” t-shirt. With him on drums and Sterling on bass, they form a fucking tight rhythm section, with the groove on recent single Smile being one of the most addictive I’ve heard since The Jam’s Precious. It’s the band’s first time playing in Leeds and they’re clearly enjoying it, with Natalie having lots of banter with the crowd, engaging in discussions on topics including the positives and negatives of shopping at Farm Foods and Poundland. I may be stereotypical, but I hope I don’t offend, when I say she owns the stage and performs as the hyperactive, angry offspring of Claire Grogan and Shirley Manson. Among the set of recent releases are a couple of new tracks, TV Static and Fluid, the latter a powerful and positive song advocating for greater understanding and acceptance of those who are non-binary, transgender, and more. and their rights.

Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds
The red spots

local hero Crumbs made up of Ruth, Gem, Jamie and Stuart are the next to take the stage performing songs mostly from their 2017 album Mind Yr Manners. It’s one of the poster bands I know the least about, but I plan to catch up. Their set highlighted the feeling that you were at someone’s party rather than a concert, with casual banter and humor between the band and audience interaction. I hope to catch up with them soon to write more about them!

Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds

One band I was looking forward to seeing was Nervous Twitch’s Reckless Yes label mates Duck. Unfortunately, I missed the start of their set because I needed to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. Upon returning from a trip to the co-op for a meal deal (other convenience stores and meal deals are available), I found that the band was already on stage. What I love about the band and their There Are No Normal Conversations Any More album is their ability to go from an improvised experimental B-side of The Fall to a slightly ragged indie stomper to a few seconds apart. Alongside C/Rage, the band return to their catalog on Stereo, the opening track from their 2017 album Faceache; before a superb cover of Feels Blind by Bikini Kill. They end on Rabbit Hole, a highlight of the last album.

Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds

I’ll be honest, after almost 5 hours I was starting to falter a bit but was looking forward to the last two acts, one that I knew the other, although highly recommended that I had never heard before . As the penultimate group The Anderson Tapes, Olga, Martin and Chris, come on stage my daughter (sorry forgot to mention I had a 15 year old in tow) remarked, “they look like my teachers”. I’m not sure I would have disagreed even if I had the energy to. (I may have argued that they may have been social workers). They’re a sophisticated indie band with a cult following. From what I can tell, little known to them, something they testify to: “We’re a band and we play music. That’s all you need to know. What I do know is that they are currently made up of members from Poland, London and Middlesbrough. Tonight they play 7 tracks from their 4 releases to date, EP’s Slaughterhouse 8, Out There and Everyday Again as well as the standalone single Sirens. If it was a party and the other bands were your peers, the trio playing music influenced by Wire, Pixies, Sonic Youth and The Stooges is definitely your older brother’s college cool band. Hopefully it won’t take long for them to play in the North again.

Part-Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds
The Anderson Tapes

Yes The Anderson Tapes are the eldest siblings and then the last group, Diablofurs are the rowdy cousins ​​who came to show you how it’s done. With many mob energy levels nearly depleted, these 5 pieces are a shot in the arm. It’s a complete mix of indie rock with a bit of glam rock and punk thrown in for good measure. Both Jay and Erin had enlarged the group when I spoke to them before the dryer and I can see why. Despite the fairly busy scene, they make the most of it. Singers Suze and Rob have boundless energy, constantly moving throughout their hour-long set. It’s not just the main characters, there’s constant movement on stage that demands your attention. Danii pouts and poses while performing bass duties and contributing backing vocals, Kay dances to her keyboards and somehow Becks manages to keep the beat going to back it all up. Every song sounds like an anthemic earworm; with a choir and plenty of opportunity to bang the air in celebration.

I’m surprised to find that the first half of the set, Blue Thing; submarine spies; Crocodile; City of Pleasure; Our Stars and Planets Guide and Swim Alone are not yet devoted to vinyl although known to the crowd. Clearly, I did not pay attention! As a neutral, I wouldn’t have been able to tell some of the previously posted Pressure Don’t Stop; Obsession; New Material Meteors. Sadly, all too soon, the day ends with Erin leading the cry of “one more song” before the encores of Everybody’s Dreaming and World In 260.

Without a doubt I would say Diablofurs are now at the top of my “must see” list, but in all honesty all the bands on the Part Time Punks list deserve more than just being there and I would recommend people check them out. Let’s hope that the organizers see it as much success as the participants.

To quote the song that named the event, ‘they come from many places, they come down for the day’…

To be done again in 2023?

Part Time Punks: Wharf Chambers, Leeds - the live review

Nervous Twitch can be found on Facebook and Twitter

Everyone down! can be found on Facebook and Twitter

The Dirt can be found on Facebook and Twitter

Red spots can be found on Facebook and Twitter

Crumbs can be found on Facebook and Twitter

Duck can be found on Facebook and Twitter

The Anderson Tapes can be found on Facebook and Twitter

Diablofurs can be found on Facebook and Twitter


All photos courtesy of Paul Samuel. You can find him on Instagram

All words by Iain Key. See his author profile here author archive or on Twitter like @iainkey.

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