This was the first organised event from the creators of the excellent ‘The Codfather Podcast’ and a natural development for a show that, in the words of Darran ‘The Codfather’ Jubb, is on a mission to throw a spotlight on unsigned acts and pay homage to bands that play under the mainstream radar.
The venue was upstairs in the welcoming Santiago Bar in Leeds city centre and the evening had a diverse mix of four acts that perfectly fit The Codfather’s mission ethos.
First up was Jon Penn from Hull with a solo acoustic set of pop punk favourites. Jon had the toughest job of the night as he had been drafted in at the last minute as another act had had to drop out and he was the first act on. Jon’s set included a number of bouncy Green Day, Blink 182, Bowling For Soup tracks to get the evening going. He also paid homage to Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts with his version of This Is the Sound. Jon included one of his own songs, the well-crafted One Last Piece.
I’m sure being the first act isn’t always an issue but the event had had to be planned and executed on a shoestring and there were a few issues with sound and lighting for the acts to contend with.
Jon’s personality, humility and warmth shone through and the audience were with him through the highs and lows of the technical issues. Jon’s performance got the evening off to a great start.
Next up was Hull melodic punk trio, Cats That Bark. They did a thumping set of hard, succinct, well executed tracks including: Fragmentation, Safe To Say, Would I Lie and Dammit. I particularly enjoyed the concise Keep My Jumper, a song guitarist Danny Roe said was inspired by a rapper he was listening to on a bus who was freestyling an ode to his ex. The rap contained the line ‘and you can keep my jumper.’
The Hull trio appeared to have the biggest issues with the sound but it was more an issue for how the band were hearing themselves. From in front of the stage they were tight and the sound was great.
Next up was the mighty Yorkshire outfit, Knuckle. Described as ‘Deluxe Garage Blues’ the Huddersfield trio played loud and gave a rousing performance. Knuckle have healthy support locally, but the quality of their writing, performance and song craft, will inevitably lead to them to a bigger cult following. Their set included the melodic gems Hand Grenade, Cash & Carry, My Girlfriend Is A Werewolf and Baby I’m a Dickhead. The lead vocalist, Jonny Firth introduced the emotional but cathartic, Meet Me at the Station, which was written about his cousin who sadly took his own life.
The set was a fine mixture of emotion, social commentary and humour. Knuckle was a brilliant addition to the evening. This event was aimed at promoting the diversity and skilled articulation of the art of bands and artists who are not heard on mainstream radio stations. Knuckle personify this.
The night closed with the brilliantly freaky Anglo-Italian electro-synth punk act, Bikini Death Race.
This was a real coup for an event like this. The trio are such a unique unit, both in sound and presence. The result is a loud, hard and fast fusion of heavy electronic and furious fun in orange boiler suits and animal ski masks. Their set included Rabbit Hole, Time Machine, Party Animals and Not Sorry. Singer, Gingerkat explained brilliantly the meaning of some of the songs, like, ‘this one’s
about some of the people in the office where we work, it’s called Fuck Off and Die’…I know that feeling well! The BDR’s finished with a cover of The Ramones, Blitzkreig Bop, followed by a stirring version of Depeche Mode’s Photographic.
All in all, this was a great attempt at a first time event for the organisers. Yes, it had some flaws, but this was an event organised by music fans, featuring performers who love what they do above the obsession of needing to obtain fame and celebrity status. I was speaking to Phil, the bassist from Cat’s That Bark and he was telling me that the band have the chance of a gig in Paris that he was excited about. From the discussion, it’s clear the band won’t get rich from the French gig and it may even end up costing them money, but the chance to stand in front of a new audience and experience that buzz made it all worthwhile.
Events like An Evening With The Codfather need to be supported and encouraged. It’s an excellent platform for new and niche acts to showcase their talents in a real-time, intimate and fully sensory setting. Things that are hard to get from a download or a minute or two of footage on Instagram, Facebook, etc.
The other important thing about this debut event was that the admission was £3.50. £3.50, it wouldn’t even buy you a drink in the Santiago Bar. £3.50 – which included a free CD, to see an eclectic mix of local and international talent in a live venue, that’s quite amazing. It’s more evidence of the organisers making the gig as accessible as possible for the pure love of music, well done The Codfather crew and I’m looking forward to the next event.