Heavenly Records are celebrating their 25th anniversary by taking over the Trades Club for the weekend with a packed programme of shows. In order to cram it all in, they’re putting on some matinee performances as well as evening ones. It’s a slightly odd feeling to leave the snow, shops and cafes of Hebden Bridge behind and enter the blacked-out Trades venue at lunchtime for a gig and a few drinks. The Heavenly event is giving the Trades a real buzz, the place is packed, and the stage looks particularly fetching with its sparkly Heavenly banner.
The support are Kid Wave, Heavenly’s latest signing, a young act with a breezy summer vibe. Think 90s California. Front woman Lea, and Serra, drummer, both indulge in much hair swishing, as well as producing languid vocals set against breezy guitar riffs, at times reminiscent of early Pretenders. Give All I Want and Gloom a listen.
There’s something about Jimi Goodwin that inspires a lot of love. He radiates ‘nice guy’ vibes – even when a few incidents test his affable nature. And maybe he’s feeling slightly under the weather as he asks for water, then a ”petulant Z-list rock star” request for tea with honey, before taking a few hits of throat spray. There’s no evidence of anything being amiss though, his voice is its usual melancholic, soulful self.
The set concentrates on Odludek, his first solo album released last year, with a peppering of earlier Doves numbers. To open, Terracotta Warrior announces itself with its jarring foghorn notes – this is a sneaky song though, as those discordant notes lead into a complex and melodic section – I love the way this song builds. This is followed by the 2009 classic, Kingdom of Rust, with the more prominent keyboard lending the song a different feel.
A few technical problems arise with faulty leads, giving Jimi time to engage in some banter with the good-natured Trades crowd. Live Like a River suddenly makes sense when it’s played live. The band unleash their full power for Man Vs Dingo, the hardest-edged of Odludek’s songs with a swagger that reminds me of The Stranglers. It was a pleasure to hear The Last Broadcast again, here it’s a powered-up version, not the gentle treatment he gave it at Festival No 6 last summer.
The set closes with Lonely At The Drop – this song encapsulates the magic of a Jimi Goodwin number, a dreamy, evocative landscape overlaid with those melancholic somewhat doom-laden vocals. An absolute beauty of a song.
This was a lovely, unusual and memorable gig.
THE SMALL PRINT
WHO: Jimi Goodwin, Kid Wave
WHEN: 24 January 2015
WHERE: The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge