The Hounds Of Love Band – The Duchess, 04/04/09

…and it’s back to The Duchess for our second gig of what promises to be a busy Easter half-term.

First up tonight is Angela Gordon, who I have seen twice before – once as one-half of Odin Dragonfly and once as a guest vocalist/duelling flautist for Mostly Autumn. Tonight it’s a solo outing – just Angela, a keyboard, a glass of red wine and, errm, an alarm clock – and we are treated to a selection of Angela’s singer/songwriter compositions, including three tracks available on Offerings, the album released by Odin Dragonfly. Those are the only tracks I have previously heard, although the rest of the set are in a similar vein. As far as I can tell, only one was written by somebody else (we were told who had written it, but the name escapes me…)

With a crystal-clear voice and good keyboard playing, Angela proved to be a more than adequate warm-up for tonight’s main act. The only remaining question is whether she plans to release any of the songs not available on Offerings.

It’s just two acts tonight, with the headliners being The Hounds of Love Band. Named after arguably one of the best albums of the 1980’s, this is a Kate Bush “tribute” act who don’t necessarily go out to recreate the full sound of the original act, but do love and appreciate the music and aim to play it well.

At least, that’s what the publicity says. To my mind, while the music may not be the same during all the songs, singer Josie Mills manages to sound uncannily like Kate. In fact, I would argue that it is hard to sing any of her songs without managing to sound like her.

The whole band – Sam Leggett on drums, Simon Horn on Bass, Richard Luck on keyboards, Glen Smith on guitar and martin Luklinski (the group’s own fan-proclaimed Heathcliffe) – is an excellent package. They play well, as evidenced by individual solos during the band introductions, an instrumental section performed with Josie off stage as well as during the songs themselves. They also provided vocal harmonies and a too-small-to-be-intrusive amount of witty banter. Josie, herself, projects the same ethereal beauty and atmosphere that Kate had during her heyday and completes the package with a terrific voice which proves to be more than capable of handling even the most complex of the original vocals.

Tonight’s set was comprised of pretty much every song that the general public would recognise as Kate’s hits, from The Man With The Child In His Eyes and Wuthering Heights right through to Mrs Bartolozzi (the song about washing machines from Aerial). As far as I can remember, all albums except The Dreaming and Sensual World were represented and all the songs were performed well.

Normally, I have a (perhaps unhealthy) disdain of tributes bands and I suspect that if Angela Gordon hadn’t been tonight’s support we probably wouldn’t have gone to this gig. However, it was an excellent evening. All of Kate Bush’s albums reside in my CD collection, although it’s fair to say that they don’t exactly get played as much as a lot of my other albums. Tonight’s performance, however, has inspired me to play them more often.

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About Ian

Regular gig-goer in York, both to see local and touring bands. Huge music fan, with more CDs than my wife thinks any one person should own. I also collect American comics, read a lot of SF and fantasy and am a season-ticket holder at Leeds United.
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