You can’t beat a good combo – fish and chips, tea and a biscuit… – which is why we find ourselves at the very packed Brudenell Social Club. Good (reasonably priced) beer and good company are guaranteed in this neck of the woods, and good music is usually a given. So that’s another great combo. Another is the latest release from Leeds label Come Play With Me (CPWM) featuring a split 7″ with local bands, Esper Scout and Zozo. Combine all of the above and you get the perfect recipe for a launch party…
Zozo, are one of those bands that it’s hard to put into words exactly what to expect. They claim ‘ZoZo will make you dance and ZoZo will make you think…’ . At first glance it can all be a bit chaotic, but once you start to get it – and believe me you will, very quickly – the cacophony is infectious. Conflicting vocal styles, a wayward saxophone, all bring an air of uniqueness to the Zozo sound. It’s a sound that transfers well to the live setting. With frequent forays into the crowd from both lead singers, the crowd are easily engaged, involved and by the end of the set, quite possibly in love with Zozo – just watch out for the flying beer cans !
Jack Trotman, ZoZo’s bass player describes ‘International Waters’ as; ‘Technically it’s one of our oldest songs. It’s gone through many formations since the band started in my bedroom with Fred and Tom. It was written by accident when trying to write a guitar part for another song. We were wearing our influences on our sleeve very clearly…well more like on our backs like a footie shirt. That shirt would read ‘How many Talking Heads songs have we ever ripped off – 99.
The first time we played ‘International Waters’ was at Fell Foot Sound Festival. After a rainy night huddled in a tent with a bottle of rum and our pals Cattle, we woke up the next morning realising we’d all completely forgotten the song. Never the less we kept it in the set. Somehow we made it through the whole thing to a great crowd of tired/hungover festival goers kicking up dust with some lethargic dance moves. It was in that dust that ‘International Waters’ was baptized, we’d finally finished writing that song.’
Esper Scout have been around for a few years now, and have built a well deserved and credible reputation. Catching the eye and ear of none other than Mark E. Smith, and earning themselves support slots with The Cribs and The Wytches. I’ve given up on trying to categorise Esper Scout’s sound. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that each time I see or hear them I see another facet and another contradiction. Experimental rock ? Does it really matter? What does matter is the fact that each time I see them, they just get better and better (and they were good the first time.) In the live setting it’s quite obvious, that above all else, they’re having fun on stage. Be it the way they throw down the shapes while playing, or the way they all huddle round the drums between tracks, there’s an infectious synergy between the band members that spills out to connect with the crowd.
A big part of the burgeoning Leeds DIY scene, Esper Scout have previously released their material via their own label Bomb The Twist’. Here Sarah explains why they are happy to work with CPWM… ‘We’ve known about Come Play With Me since the announcement of the label’s first release last year. There’s such a sense of community in Leeds and an endearing, connecting underdog spirit, to which in ways we can really relate. CPWM understands this. That’s something we really respect and have been keen to work with. There’s a refreshing sense of honesty. You know so through what they say and do that their excitement and investment in furthering emerging music is simmering at its core.’
As for the single… ‘Our song is rooted in Russia and other countries affected by the Cold War. Inspired by ‘How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin’, a documentary about the conflict of cultural control during a time of expressive restriction’
Esper Scout / Zozo split 7″ is out now – click HERE for more details.
Zozo – Facebook
GALLERY FROM SINGLE LAUNCH AT BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB 26-05-2016 (click on an pic to see full size)
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See more of my photos – Shot by stAn