Harley Daniels at The Basement

It was a bittersweet night at The Basement. York is about to lose, at least temporarily, one of its finest young musical talents, Harley Daniels, as he heads of to pastures new. Supported by some of his best mates, Watershed Sam, Laura Kindelan and Beth McCarthy, Harley said farewell to his time in York in style with his debut headline set.

By Graeme Smith
Photos by John Illingworth


The relaxed, jovial atmosphere was apparent from the very start of Watershed Sam’s set. His first track, played solo, was Yorkshire anthem Drinking from a Hipflask, evidently about being too tight to pay bar prices. Sam was then joined on stage by Jack Navis on electric guitar and there was an early appearance from Harley himself on backing vocals for the rest of the set. Sam covered a range of bands, from The Buzzcocks to the Talking Heads, as well as local legends Shed Seven.


Laura Kindelan also played one or two covers, but was at her best when showcasing her original material. She played with a clear love of music and song writing, and a voice that defies her age. Colours was inspired by the idea that you shouldn’t paint anything you love and Me and My Guitar was, unsurprisingly, a tribute to her fine, stringed friend. I’ve Been Thinking was an emotive piece, telling the true story of her friend’s heart being broken.

Beth McCarthy has become a household name around York and across the country after appearing on the voice. Though she does have a stunning voice, it’s her charisma and rapport with the audience that really sets her out. Her covers of KT Tunstall’s Black Horse And The Cherry Tree and Taylor Swift’sBlack Space were spot on but, again, her originals were the highlight includingMr Cliché, Echo and her new song that we can’t tell you too much about, but watch out for its imminent release.


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Watershed Sam

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Laura Kindelan


It was nearly time for the final farewell. Harley took to the stage with fellow Blind Eye band member Joey Leyland on percussion, and was later joined by guitarist Marcin Ellingham to complete the trio. Opening with an acoustic cover of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, Harley then moved onto his own songs Puzzle Piece and Every Day I Have The Blues. Although confessing that he’d hardly practiced the latter song, it was a set highlight. The Weight Of The World was also new, having only been written that week and was a beautiful ode to a friend of his who has no self confidence.


Harley closed his set with a poignant cover to U2’s Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy as he told the audience he’d had a dream where  he was going to close his show with it so got about learning the song quickly before the show. Harley must have known it sub-consciously. It was the perfect end to the night.

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Beth McCarthy

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A fond farewell

Watershed Sam, Laura Kindelan, Beth McCarthy and Harley Daniels played at The Basement on Friday 1 May 2015