Sunday, March 16, 2014


There is an authentic live music venue a stone’s throw from the railway station in the ‘steel city’ of Sheffield. A converted industrial building, the Leadmill, which opened its doors 34 years ago, has played host to the likes of Coldplay, The Killers and Snow Patrol. Last Friday, it hosted The Hosts themselves (Figure 72.1).

Figure 72.1: Masters of ‘Retromanticism’ – The Hosts, Live at the Leadmill

Copyright © 2014 Fierce Panda Records

A quirky, and conspicuously talented, local quintet (Figure 72.2), The Hosts have created something reminiscent of ’60s ‘wall of sound’ indie pop, overflowing with effortless vocal harmonies and stunning chord changes. If either the Love Affair or Velvet Underground had invited either Roy Orbison or Gary Puckett to sing a few of their tracks, and Phil Spector to produce them, this is how they might have turned out – in other words, brilliant. In an era of synthetic music-by-numbers, propagated on television by the likes of Simon Cowell, these guys are an honest antidote – real musicians singing and playing from the heart.

Figure 72.2: The Hosts’ musical craftsmanship is as refined as their appearance.

Copyright © 2014 Fierce Panda Records

Whether you feel inclined to believe me or not, please check out the video – – superb even without the sound – which showcases their latest single ‘September Song’, taken from their debut album ‘Softly, Softly’ (Figure 72.3).

Figure 72.3: The live versions, by the way, are every bit as polished as the recordings.

Copyright © 2014 Fierce Panda Records

Of their current tour, just one date remains: Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds, on Thursday, 3rd April. For anyone who loves small-venue live music, this is as good as it gets (Figure 72.4).

Figure 72.4: View from the stage at the Leadmill

Copyright © 2014 The Hosts

Copyright © 2014 Paul Spradbery

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