York’s underground music scene: Great gigs to see in September 2016

Coming to the Crescent… Manchester duo Shield Patterns. Photograph: Alex Bell
6 Sep 2016 @ 8.49 pm
| Entertainment

Now then. Dan here again. Time for another trip down the rabbit hole, as I attempt to share with you some of the best underground gigs you’re likely to see in York for September.

Live music is such an important thing. I can’t stress enough how much it means to me. It’s helped me through a lot in the past, and continues to offer me a way to vent my frustrations.

Without music, my life wouldn’t be worth living. I’ve formed friendships through it, solidified relationships with it, and had arguments over it.

If you’re anything like me and crave to be sonically blasted at live shows, then polish yer yoks and have a butchers at this lovely lot…

First off, let’s see what that marvellous human Joe Coates at Please Please You has booked…

Danny & The Champions Of The World + Dean Owens

Wednesday 7th September, 7.30pm. £10adv/£12otd
Presented by PPY & Let’s Go Baboon @ The Crescent

Danny Wilson (Grand Drive) and his posse of revellers bring their brilliant brand of soulful country-rock back to York. A joyful riot of Caledonian soul, proud horns, country pedal steel and ballads that either break your heart or send it soaring.

This band won multiple awards at the 2016 Americana UK Music Awards and prompted Mojo Magazine to splutter “If there’s a better country soul band in the UK, hats may have to be eaten”.

Shield Patterns, Elsa Hewitt, Jakoby, Mayshe Mayshe + Nez Perce DJs

Sunday 11th September, 6pm. £4adv/£5otd
Presented by PPY & Nez Perce @ The Crescent

An evening of electronic experimentalism and glitch-y songwriting from super talents in Manchester, Leeds and York.

Shield Patterns is the Manchester-based duo of Claire Brentnall and Richard Knox (A-Sun Amissa/ The Rustle of the Stars/ Glissando).

Together they create intensely emotive music full of light and shade that’s both melodic and incredibly detailed.

It’s a sound that is at once accessible and exploratory and ends up as a triumph of dreamily surreal contemporary music. Beats in between acts provided by the good people from Nez Perce residents.

Damien O’Kane (full band) + Paula Ryan

Friday 16th September, 7.30pm £15adv/£17.50otd
Presented by PPY & The Black Swan Folk Club

A very rare full band show from recent BBC Folk Awards nominee and full-time member of the Kate Rusby Band, Damien O’Kane.

An immense banjo player, an accomplished versatile guitarist, a seriously good singer, a naturally inventive arranger, an innovative musical explorer, a producer, a bandleader, a provocatively original interpreter of folk song…

When all the pieces are fitted together with unconditional love, care and attention to detail, the results are spectacular.

The Howl & The Hum, LUUNA + Kitty VR

Friday 23rd September, 7.30pm £4adv/£5otd
PPY & Wilderland @ The Crescent

From the moment a young Sam Griffiths embraced York’s open mic circuit it was apparent the city had a new adopted star, wowing audiences with crystal clear vocal dexterity, complex, introverted songwriting and accomplished acoustic accompaniment.

A couple of years have passed since and Griffiths continues to mine classic folk, country and singer-songwriter sounds with extreme class.

Surrounded by equally talented musician friends, 2016 was the year to form a band. Enter equally accomplished local misfits Conor Hirons on electric guitar, Bradley Blackwell on bass and Laurie Caudwell on drums and The Howl & The Hum was born.

We’re pleased to present the band’s first York headline show in The Crescent to celebrate the gig-only release of a two-track live CD recorded here earlier in the summer.

The supports are cracking too. Yoshika Colwell, Jared Thorpe (Avalance Party, Le Petit Mort) and Jonny Hooker (Fossil Collective) recently formed LUUNA for further exploration into the combination of bass-heavy minimal BPM electronics, gliding electric guitar and soulful vocals.

The result being reminiscent of the classic Nineties’ Bristol sound with an extra level of musicality. Opening the show is singer-songwriter Kitty VR who, although very young, has been wowing audiences all summer.

Up next, let’s splash some words about what I have booked at my Behind The White Door events…

Sweet Deals On Surgery, TC6, Foreign Tides, Push

BEHIND THE WHITE DOOR #71: 7th September, The Fulford Arms. Free entry

This is one noisy lineup! Sweet Deals On Surgery hail from Preston, have just signed to the legendary Liverpool label Anti-Pop Records and play agonisingly tight noise/pop.

Heavy guitars, educated bass lines, powerhouse drumming and sickly-sweet vocals. In support are York’s TC6, who were formerly The Puddins. They do aggressive punk rock in the style of GG Allin crossed with Amen.

Foreign Tides come from Darlington and have cleverly crossed shoegaze with brutal noise rock. It’s their Behind The White Door debut.

Push return to our stage for a third time, with their visceral assault of the senses. This could be one of their last shows for a while, as the band members are going off to uni soon, so it’s worth a look!

The Black Mambas, The Black Lagoons

BEHIND THE WHITE DOOR #72: 23rd September, The Fulford Arms. Free entry

All the way from Bell Gardens, California come the dynamic Black Mambas. These guys play 1,000mph rock and roll, in the style of Johnny Thunders and Zodiac Killers.

We are delighted to have been selected for one of only three UK shows. The other two are in Brighton and London, which are both regular jaunts for aspiring rock and roll bands. Shows how far our little club night has come really.

We are becoming recognised as the place to see rock and roll in the north. In support for this one, we have The Black Lagoons, who recently destroyed our Fully York Festival stage. They are a band firmly on the rise, with their chosen style of powerful surf/ rock and roll/ sludge.

I am also going to be confirming two more bands for this. One local and one out-of-towner, as per usual with my Behind The White Door affairs. At the time of writing, neither are confirmed.

If you want to find out who I booked, either come to the event, or keep tabs on my website.

Henry Raby at the Fulford Arms

Henry Raby, the political punk poet from York, has a Fulford Arms show booked in September. His events always give food for thought, and are usually a pretty rowdy night.

On September 29 he has riot grrrl outfit The Tuts, Buzzcocks-esque punk rockers Happy Accidents, York’s own indie-pop noshers Junk, and a special theatrical/ queerpop performance from Flora Greysteel. Tickets £6 on the door or £5 in advance: get them here.

Whilst on the subject of Mr Raby, Henry is teaming up with Cicy Reay on September 16, to bring you a show at Dusk.

You might think that Dusk is a bit of an odd place to go for a gig, but it is slowly building a reputation for being one of the hottest places to put on a DIY show. With a tiny upstairs gig room and a half-busted PA system, it’s got a certain charm about it that quite a few people really dig.

If you want to see something real, without all the smoke and mirrors that bigger venues provide, then this is the place for you to go.

With that said, Henry and Cicy present indie/ pop punkers T-Shirt Weather, DIY noisemakers Fairweather Band, spoken word performer Rosalie Gardner and local songwriting sensation Helen Chambers.

Hot Crush DJ’s will also be spinning the very best in alt-pop/queerpunk.

Neuschlaufen + Soma Crew + Unstable Journey

John Tuffen, who has been terrifying York audiences for an age, is also putting some music on at Dusk, under his recently-formed Performance Anxiety promotions outfit. This show is on September 29th and features his own band Neuschlaufen, who play disturbing, dark krautrock.

Also on the bill are York favourites Soma Crew, who provide elegant and multi-layered drone-rock, and Unstable Journey are heading over from Leeds, to do some psychy-droney-rock stuff.

If you like your music hypnotic, noisy and a little bit strange, this is the gig for you. Entry is nominally £3, but John tells YorkMix he has a ‘standard’ policy of not turning anyone away for lack of funds.

Sing Ramona Sing + Jonny Gill + Just Another Warning

Finally, a man who likes whisky, guinea pigs and acoustic music, is hosting one of his Shhhh! acoustic events at The Black Swan in September. If you like initmate acoustic shows in beautiful buildings, this one is for you.

The setting of the iconic Black Swan is perfect to get stuck into a folky hurl of acoustic ear love. Craig Slaney is a legendary promoter in York, and when he’s not pushing the latest pop punk heart-throbs, he can be found regularly at the Black Swan promoting these nights (and usually swigging whisky like a thirsty pirate).

On September 30, he’s got Sing Ramona Sing, who recently played at our Fully York Festival (which Craig helped to run). He also has local teenage dirtbag Jonny Gill, who really needs no introduction.

Finishing the lineup is Just Another Warning, aka James Wright, who plays heartfelt folky-punk. Free / donations entry.

And that completes my September round-up. If I missed anyone’s gig, please send me a message over Facebook (Dan Oliver Gott) or an email at [email protected], and I will of course include any future DIY events you are promoting.

The whole point of these round-ups is to raise awareness for York’s bustling underground scene. There’s a lot going on. Now you know where to look! See yer next time!


Date Act Venue Price
7 Danny & The Champions Of The World, Dean Owens Crescent £12otd
7 Sweet Deals On Surgery, TC6, Foreign Tides, Push Fulford Arms Free
11 Shield Patterns, Elsa Hewitt, Jakoby, Mayshe Mayshe Crescent £4adv/£5otd
16 Damien O’Kane (full band), Paula Ryan Crescent £15adv/£17.50otd
16 T-Shirt Weather, DIY noisemakers Fairweather Band, Rosalie Gardner, Helen Chambers, and Hot Crush DJs Dusk £5
23 The Howl & The Hum, LUUNA + Kitty VR Crescent £4adv/£5otd
23 The Black Mambas, The Black Lagoons Fulford Arms Free
29 The Tuts, Happy Accidents, Junk, Flora Greysteel Fulford Arms £5adv/£6otd
29 Neuschlaufen, Soma Crew, Unstable Journey Dusk £3
30 Sing Ramona Sing, Jonny Gill, Just Another Warning Black Swan Free