LIVE REVIEW: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks @ The Brudenell Social Club


Assuming you’ve never been to The Brudenell Social Club (and considering the readership of this here website consists of 50% Americans and 50% of people not from Leeds, it’s a reasonable assumption to make), I’ll preface this lil’ old review with a description. By day, you’ll find The Brudenell filled with over 60+ gentlemen, dressed stylishly in high waisted beige trousers, slowly working down a pint of bitter in the company of their beige trouser wearing, bitter drinking friends. By night, it hosts some of the finest new, upcoming or downright unknown artists from anywhere they can find them, stuffing them in a room done out like an early 70’s gentlemen’s club turned late 70’s smoking lounge with a crowd to watch. Needless to say, it is an excellent venue, intimate enough to make you feel involved and spacious enough to get more than you and your cat inside without having to stand on it on the way to the bar. Even more than that, it’s 4 minutes from my house and cans of Red Stripe are downright reasonable, which is more important than you’d think.

With the room packed with a surprisingly diverse collection of individuals and following support from the ever pretty decent Milk Maid, The Jicks appeared on stage to face the understandably enthusiastic audience. Our collective cheers drowned out Malkmus’ greetings, and scarcely died down until they launched into their first track of the evening, Mirror Traffic’s excellent lead track ‘Tigers’. Indeed, that nearly year old album (only 20 days to go, anniversary fans) went on to dominatedthe majority of the evening’s set list, with ‘Forever 28’, ‘Spazz’, ‘Stick Figures in Love’, ‘Senator’, ‘Long Hard Book’ and a bunch of others from MT all showing up in a rougher, more caustic form than found on the sometimes overly tame Beck produced record.

Now, let is be said that The Jicks are all wildly adept musicians, with a great deal of charisma between the band members, but despite all this, it still feels like The Stephen Malkmus show, a quick glance around the audience confirmed that all eyes were on him, likely for good reason; Stephen Malkmus is arguably one of the most natural guitar players on the planet, every moment he’s playing, you can see the connection he has with his music, his thought process and -more than anything- just how much he loves it. It really is a joy to behold, and the crowd responded with the kind of enthusiasm and love that only a room full of adoring fans can throw back at a stage, a clear sign that if ever there was a time for Stephen Malkmus to get out of the music game, it isn’t now.

Here’s a set list, followed by some tour dates.

Fri Aug 3, 2012
Manchester | Deaf Institute

Sat Aug 4, 2012
Aulnoye-Aymerie | Les Nuit Secretes

Sun Aug 5, 2012
Katowice | OFF Festival 

Wed Aug 8, 2012
Sibenik | Terraneo 

Fri Aug 10, 2012
Sicily | Ypsigrock 

Sun Aug 12, 2012
St. Malo | La Route du Rock

Tue Aug 14, 2012
Porto | Parades De Coura 

Fri Aug 17, 2012
Glanusk Park | Green Man 

Sat Aug 18, 2012
Hasselt | Pukkelpop 

Sun Aug 19, 2012
Amsterdam | Bitterzoet

Mon Aug 20, 2012
Koln | Gebaude 9 

Wed Aug 22, 2012
Tel Aviv | Barby Club 

Thu Sep 20, 2012

Tokyo | Tokyo Duo

Fri Sep 21, 2012
Osaka | Soma

Tue Sep 25, 2012
Brisbane | Brisbane Festival

Wed Sep 26, 2012
Brisbane | Brisbane Festival

Fri Sep 28, 2012
Perth | Rosemount | tickets

Sat Sep 29, 2012
Hyden | Wave Rock Weekender

Wed Oct 3, 2012
Melbourne | Corner Hotel

Fri Oct 5, 2012

Sydney | Factory Theater