Sunday, 23 December 2007

Tis' the season to be Granada...land!


I know the bar at the top gives the impression that this is just about dance based music, but as a Bradford boy i could hardly ignore the resurgance the city's guitar based music has had, mainly thanks to one or two resourceful promoters.....

One of the annoying things about coming from Bradford is that it's seemingly one of the uncoolist placest in the country.

I don't think that idea is going to go away anytime soon but the line-up for Granadaland's 2nd birthday shows how far the place has come.

It is quietly becoming one of the best small nights in the north and in recent times they've even started nicking gig goers from Leeds, which is about as crazy as Leeds United supporters joining the ointment.

Mark Husak, who runs the night, is the force behind it. He's got the ability to put bands on that become massive, like when he put on Los Campesinos a year ago. But it's not just the bands, the whole thing feels right and that is weird when you consider what the live music scene in Bradford was like two years ago. Coming back from university in Liverpool Bradford seemed like a clueless mess, there seemed to be no connection between the kind of music that was popular and what you heard when you went out. Mark and Granadaland changed that by actually putting on topical, interesting and brazenly 'cool' bands, you could actually get excited about going out in Bradford. But...

Everything seems to be a battle, from dealing with the club owners to convincing bands to play Bradford. The whole thing is like an episode of Grand Designs where the poor idealistic fools have saved a tenner to build a 16 room post-Bauhaus bunker.

Granadaland has almost become a residence for the brilliant Laura Groves, who is gradually becoming as big as she should be. Her release on XL records sublabel Saliva 'I am Leaving' is a chunk of folkish pop that could turn the most cynical metal fan doe eyed. She's getting about as well i saw her in Newcastle supporting electrelane and she was amazing, confident, composed and genuinely sentimental. Her video for 'I am Leaving' was made by Mark Husak and Michael Connolly (formerly of Kenosha) and features all the famous landmarks of Shipley like the underground market and the clock tower.

Laura Groves

Bradford still needs more venues though, the boathouse in Saltaire was looking decent but as things always seem to do in Bradford there was disputes over money and it ended almost as quickly as it started. 1 in 12 is good but you can't imagine anything established happening there. So for now we've got Granadaland, Rockers and Rollers at the New Beehive, Dogs on Wheels and the sporadic Blank Generation.

It's not that bad though, because now a younger generation are running nights. They might not have that much experience or a marketing degree, but they will not compromise on the bands they book and the music they love.

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