The third chapter of Joakim's journey around the UK arrives in Leeds. Read part one and part two.

Luna
Tuning up

It was raining in Leeds. I don’t mind the rain. Not at all. In fact I like the rain. We went to our hotel room close to the train station. Even if it’s never the nicest area to stay in, in any city, close to the train station, it is convenient when you’re going up early the day after for another train ride.

We stayed in a nice hotel room and I walked out by myself to buy a new camera, I accidentally dropped Ulrika’s small compact Leica in London, it broke. The new camera sucked but I had to use it since I had bought it already so I filmed the whole Luna gig. But I like the music so much it’s not much to see unless you want to purposely feel nauseas.

We walked around in Leeds before the show and liked it quite a lot. Went to the hip shopping mall Leeds Corn Exchange with lots of cool stores. Had a meal and jumped into a taxi to meet Andy again, in a fun but weird pub next to the concert venue. We met Irish guy, Joe, who’d been a very long time fan, he and Andy where telling us stories of the first Galaxie 500 and Luna gigs in the UK. I love meeting people like that.

A guy in the bar told me three times what a nice wig I have. I didn’t really get the joke more than I know that my hair looks fucked up no matter what I do. If I cut it properly according to a hairdresser it looks stupid and if I don’t it looks stupid too. Hair is not exactly my favourite subject so lets move on.

Heading in (photo by Joakim)

To Brudenell Social Club. What a venue! Like stepping back in time 50 years. Got to like places like Brudenell Social Club. Apparently it’s where all the good bands play in Leeds. Mercury Rev will play there soon. We got to the venue early as usual, we like to feel the vibe of the place in good time, watch when it fills up and be able to talk to people if we know anyone.

Flowers

In Leeds Flowers opened up first, charming, delightful and beautiful as always. And then the local band Hookworms came on after. I was especially looking forward to seeing Hookworms since I got their debut album on vinyl when it came out a year ago or is it two years by know. A mint green album cover with a psychedelic painting. The music is intense with both guitars and organ and lots of distortion, sounds everywhere and very loud. Similar to the now dissolved Gothenburg band Silverbullit, in US they are known under the name Citizen Bird. Their lead singer used to be thrown out by the security guards during their own gigs appearing too energetic. Hookworms was a really cool opening act for Luna. Loud and energetic.

Leeds is different. Compared to London and Brighton it’s another world. I’m so glad I got to Leeds. It’s like going to a small town that’s not exactly small. The people are crazy and memorable. The drummer from Flowers told me after the show that the founder of Sarah Records was at the show. The Field Mice used to be one of my favourite bands, at least some of their songs, Sensitive is one of the best songs ever recorded I think. The drummer of Flowers said that he was going to introduce me to her but it never happened and I didn’t really mind, I wouldn’t know what to say anyway, I’m not good at those things. I could have told her that girls in Sweden listening to Sarah Records usually have mods hairdos but I wouldn’t want to get into that thing, don’t want to talk about that. But I was happy to be in Leeds.

Luna in Leeds was a wilder affair. It started off a bit slow but still nice. I think it was Mike that had told Britta that Chinatown would be a good opener and it was. Malibu Love Nest is always good. It’s incredibly good I should say. Sideshow by the Seashore isn’t bad either. And I’m so glad Sean is doing the wonderful Still At Home, he has a beautiful voice. They played Friendly Advice, Tracy I Love You, Speedbumps. And Bonnie and Clyde, that’s a delight. And Fuzzy Wuzzy. One of Ulrika’s favourites. And I like Time To Quit. I saw you rock out, Joe said, or if it was Mike, I wouldn’t really use those words, americans do, but I can’t really stand still at a show when I’m enjoying it. The film didn’t exactly turn out like a new The Last Waltz I’m afraid. But I had fun. And they played Tugboat as well. I don’t think Blue Thunder suits Luna very much, Tugboat is better. The first time I heard Tugboat was on a Mercury Rev bootleg I had, I still have it somewhere.

Lee, Dean and Sean in Leeds (photo by Joakim)

If Luna play a cover it doesn’t really matter who did the song first, they always turn it into their own. When Dean & Britta is doing the Dylan song I’ll Keep It With Mine it sounds exactly like the version by Rainy Day, who in turn of course had listened to the Nico version of the song. I love when people are borrowing from each other in art, even stealing, and especially when it comes to music. It makes music change and transform and develop into previously unknown territories. Dean has always been good at that. After I heard Mercury Rev’s Tugboat, I got On Fire with the bonus tracks Ceremony and Isn’t it a Pity, two landmark covers in the history of music in my opinion.

Then I met Ulrika who introduced me to Luna. She wouldn’t let me into her apartment, I had to wait outside. I can’t remember what albums she loaned me but I’m pretty sure it was Bewitched and Penthouse. I liked Bewitched more, her favourite has always been Penthouse. But she listened to Romantica a lot when we met, we shared music taste and I thought it was great that she had so many ep’s and singles with a band that where so great, and there where tons of amazing covers on those records. One of the first concerts we went to together was Luna at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm 2002, not counting a country music festival two years earlier, but that’s another story. My favourite Luna album is now Rendezvous. That album has the current Luna live sound that I like so much. I like the current Luna live sound, if you didn’t know already by now.

After the show Jon called for a taxi and outside the venue we ran into LunaGal and Steven from Australia. They where about to travel to Stockholm in a few days. Is that so. I have a pen, we’ll write some important things you need to know about taxis when you come to Stockholm. It’s a free market, anyone can put any price to the taxi rides and the tourists get ripped off. I gave LG my number. Jon, Mike, Ulrika and me shared a taxi back to our hotels and we said that we where going to meet in Manchester in two days. We were first going up north to Scotland.

Dancers (photo by Joakim)