Gigs and Talks

Where Were You? We hope you were here. The end of the Leeds Music History Exhibition 2011

To mark the last day of the exhibition on Saturday 27th August 2011 we have live events in the exhibition space with The Blind Dead McJones Band playing at 1pm followed by a talk at 3pm. The exhibition closes at 5pm, then we will be going to the pub.

3pm Saturday 27th August 2011 in the Leeds Town Hall Crypt

Philip Kiszely in conversation with Neil Howson of Age of Chance
Dr Philip Kiszely
Philip Kiszely is a cultural historian and lectures in Theatre & Performance at the University of Leeds. He is author of the award-nominated Hollywood Through Private Eyes, and he is co-editor of the new and ground-breaking academic journal, Punk & Post-Punk.

Neil Howson of Age of Chance

Age of Chance were formed by Neil Howson and Steven Elvidge in 1983 in Leeds against a post-industrial background of a crumbling economy, inner-city riots and political chicanery. Inspired by Russian Constructivism, Tamla Motown, Pop Art, Mutant Disco and New York avant-noise, the band began  to create an appropriate soundtrack to reflect the tension, energy and possibilities of urban life.Their setup was sparse; Elvidge the ‘Mob Orator’ Howson on guitar, Geoff Taylor on bass and Jan Perry, stand up drummer on a sparse two drum kit , filtered with distortion, echo creating their industrial sonic signature. They formed the Riot Bible label, releasing Motor City, and Bible of the Beats, with focused 2 minute symphonies using, beat, noise both underground hits and championed by John Peel. They appeared on the zeitgeisty C86 compilation and toured with Sonic Youth, bringing a tamla sensibility to  hardcore sound.Their next single, an audacious  re-tooled version of Prince’s ‘Kiss’ mixing hammering beats and crushing guitars crossed over to the national charts. Prince sent his approval. Wearing sports gear and touting retro futurist guitars, the group became the leaders of a sophisticated post modern, post rock sound, looking and sounding apart from the rest of independent music sector. They released Crush Collision on FON (F#ck off Nazis), a mini album of their literate industrial stompers and began working with Designers Republic in Sheffield, to interpret their work and illustrate their broader ideas, and extend their cultural reach.IN 1987 they signed to Virgin Records in one of the biggest deals in  the decade and created ‘1000 years of Trouble’, a debut LP  mixing dance, samples, Northern Soul and  hip hop beats to social commentary, political, rhetoric and the language of mass consumerism. The LP was produced by the band and On-U collaborator Howard Gray. The sonic mix was illustrated with agit graphics from TDR, mirroring the bands use of slogans, found imagery and mixing historical, industrial and commericial styles and messages.

The band were early adopters of dance and electro culture, filtered through their northern roots and were the first collaborators with Hip hip pioneers Public Enemy on’ Take it’ in 1988.  Their house rocker American hit ‘Don’t get mad, get even’ became the soundtrack to Channels 4’s American football coverage, a perfect synergy, of sound, action and energy. They released their third LP Mecca in 1990,  further expanding their dance sound and which spawned ‘Higher than Heaven’ and ‘Timeless’ the 8 minute ambient dance epic. Their final single ‘Slow Motion Riot’ was released in 1991, a prescient mix of storming guitars, synthesisers and distorted samples.

Their legacy is the collision mix of  rock, dance, hip hop and soul, now seen as commonplace in the mainstream with artists as Lady Gaga, even U2 , but at the time the group were a radical and trailblazing cultural unit, in a landscape of shambling indie, Gothic rock and saccharine pop.


Lunchtime Gigs and Talks every day in the exhibition space

Every day at 1pm a gig or talk from Leeds musicians and promoters. Free entry but donations are appreciated towards running costs. In the exhibition space – downstairs in the Leeds Town Hall (entry via the side door to the Town Hall)

Monday 15th August: the Grey Catz
Tuesday 16th August: talk from Alaric Neville (manager of The Bridewell Taxis, and involved in Cud, Chumbawamba, The Oysterband etc) and Boff Whalley from Chumbawamba
Wednesday 17th August: James Turner
Thursday 18th August: talk from Mick McCann, author of ‘How Leeds Changed The World’, and who played with Leeds post punk band ‘Hang The Dance
Friday 19th August: Gary Kaye (The Psycho Surgeons)
Saturday 20th August: tbc
Monday 22nd August: Dave Lynch
Tuesday 23rd August: Talk from John Keenan, the Godfather of the Leeds music scene over the last 35 years and promoter of The Duchess, The Irish Centre, The New Roscoe plus The F Club and Futurama events at the Queen’s Hall
Wednesday 24th August: Miranda Arieh
Thursday 25th August: Klez Dennis
Friday 26th August: Andie Mills

Saturday 27th Aug: The Blind Dead McJones Band


Past events

“Where were you?” a music event on the history of Leeds music

Event page on Facebook:

19th August 2011 Brudenell Social Club door open 6pm £5 entry all funds to pay for the exhibition and any profit donated to Cloth Cat

All Leeds bands, playing at least one Leeds band cover. It’s a true celebration of the Leeds scene in one of our most iconic venues.


The Chris Reed Project (the voice of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry)

Nights On Mars (featuring Brenny from The Three Johns and Fiona from The Parachute Men)

Insect Guide (with Chris from Pale Saints)

The Roman Empire

Maggie 8

The Feelie Family

Executive Legs

Unstable Journey

and much more!

2 thoughts on “Gigs and Talks

  1. Pingback: Fundraiser TOMORROW!! | Leeds Music History Project

  2. Pingback: Age of Chance | Leeds Music History Project

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