Soundsphere Magazine brought the noise to The Fulford Arms on Saturday with a line-up of four bands, all in aid of raising money for CALM. Baby Tooth, Broken Skulls, TestTone3 and Bull all played to support the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity set up to help prevent male suicide. With suicide being the single biggest cause of death in men aged 20 to 45 in the UK, CALM has been set up with a unique mission to overcome the reasons for this.
Starting the evening was Hull-based band Baby Tooth, who were playing their first gig in York. The grungy four-piece brought the era of the garage band back to life. Their set was made up of conscious anarchy, perfect discordance, thinly-veiled aggression, and a bit of reggae thrown in for good measure. At times they channelled Nirvana and some early Modest Mouse, but all in their own way with an unmistakable Hull accent.
Up next were drum and guitar duo, Broken Skulls. Although the setup mirrored The White Stripes, the gritty voice of front man Elliot Sawyer was reminiscent of Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon. The result was thrashing rock that moved from upbeat indie to heavy blues via an 80s’ movie soundtrack. Set highlights included the epic Thunder and the belting lament Down and Out.
TestTone3 were playing their first gig for three years. With a sound that brought together many of the genres made famous in the 90s and early 00s, including Brit pop and drum and bass, the result was a wonderfully noisy, energetic and crowd pleasing return. TestTone3 belong to a small group of underrated bands such as Radio 4 and The Music who can truly be described as genre-spanning. They’re definitely best enjoyed live.
Closing the night were mellow indie rockers Bull. Like Baby Tooth and TestTone3, Bull also proved to be masters of reviving lost genres, bringing early 90s’ Californian surfer rock to York, 2015. They drew influence from The Pixies during crowd pleasers Bonzo Please and Green, but there were also elements of Bob Dylan. The enigmatically-named Neil Buchanan defies its haunting refrains which stay with you long after the song is done.
This was a finely-balanced line-up, expertly chosen, all in the name of a good cause.
Baby Tooth, Broken Skulls, TestTone3 and Bull played at The Fulford Arms for the CALM charity fundraiser on Saturday 30 May 2015