Pastel & Afflecks Palace @ The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Cheap beer, plastic cups, and speakers so loud you can feel the vibrations rip through your body, are all signs of a great venue. Waking up the next day with sore feet, ringing ears, and the songs from the night before stuck in your head, are all the signs of a great band.

The Brudenell is a small venue that has been a go-to for the Leeds’s music scene for years. They host a number of bands, big and small, and of all genres. And on Wednesday night (8th February) they hosted the self-proclaimed ‘scallydelia’ band Pastel and psyche guitar band, Afflecks Palace.

Pastel came on after a Willy Wonka medley, which was interesting, to say the least. It was a mash-up of the two songs, Pure Imagination (which goes perfectly with their psychedelic theme) and The Wonderous Boat Ride. They warmed up the crowd by starting their set with their song Run Rabbit Run, which they blended into S.O.H.O, it was a great way to get everyone moving, including the band.

Cousins Jack Yates (lead singer), and James Yates (rhythm guitar), were oozing confidence as soon as they walked on the stage, in a true Manchester fashion. The boys had great chemistry on stage, making jokes during and in-between songs, even resulting in Jack giving Rhys Wheeler (drums), the finger because his drums were too loud.

Joe Anderson (guitarist), definitely mesmerised us all with his immense guitar solos, and Liam O’Shea (bass), gets everyone in the groove with his funky basslines. The boys even teased us with a song off their new album that is coming out in the summer, and it fits their vibe perfectly. Pastel were a perfect start to the night, and I really look forward to seeing them headlining their own gigs in the future.

After a short break, Afflecks Palace swaggered onto the stage. The band has previously been described as ‘the birth of nu-Madchester’, which you could see as Fender came on stage dressed in denim, with his head housing a denim bucket hat. Lead singer, J Fender opened their set with This City is Burning Alive from their debut album, What Do You Mean It’s Not Raining.

His mic stand was also holding up a tambourine, making a few appearances throughout their show. The band continued to let us in on their influences by covering The Smiths’ Bigmouth Strikes Again, which sent the crowd (also clad in bucket hats and Adidas) into a frenzy.

Fender was very interactive with the audience and knew all the right things to say to keep people engaged. He talked a lot about how he wrote his songs, he came up with one song after he met some ‘knuckleheads’ in a club and he thought I’m So Glad You’re On Ecstasy.

Another story he shared was in his introduction to their song Big Fish Small Pond, he said he was inspired to write this song by people from major record labels with ‘fancy haircuts’, to which he was met by someone shouting “fuck ’em” from the crowd, Fender agreed and then announced the song.

The band closed on a high, keeping everyone dancing with Pink Skies and Forever Young. Something else that stood out was the fact they left the stage with no encore, they didn’t go off and come back. It’s refreshing to see a band walk to the beat of their own drum (excuse the pun) when it comes to making music and performing.

The two bands brought the Manchester experience to the Brudenell with good vibes and good music. And I think it’s safe to say that the resurfacing of the Manchester music scene is in good hands.

You can get tickets to the rest of their tour here. Alternatively, follow them on Instagram for updates!

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