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Kindelan – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Friday 2nd June 2023

I must confess I have been looking forward to this event for a long while. The long-awaited and highly anticipated show formally signaled the release of Kindelan’s debut EP ‘You Can Reach Me If You Try’. Until earlier this year I had only ever seen Laura Kindelan performing solo, but now she is back with a full band under the tasteful, yet simple, moniker Kindelan. So was it a good show from Kindelan? You will need to carry on reading to find out because first I need to tell you about the rather spiffing support act, Hannah Rowe. This was the first-ever gig for Hannah and her band, something you would never have guessed as they were so tight and on form. Hannah’s voice is deeply soulful and at times evocative of Adele, Minnie Riperton, and Deniece Williams. But those are just simple comparisons, Hannah’s voice is very much her own. The band was stunning throughout, the guitar players wove a path from soul to pop via some choppy funk motifs. The drummer was beautifully understated and commanding at the same time. Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled for Hannah Rowe, she is damned good!

Hannah Rowe and some of the band

Next month, it will be six years since I first experienced Laura Kindelan performing live as support for Billie Marten at City Screen Basement in York. I have seen her quite a few times since then and she just got better and better. I recently saw her playing with the band at Welcome To The North in Young Thugs Studio in York. That was the first time I had ever seen her play backed by a full band. This EP launch showcase at the Brudenell in Leeds was the full Kindelan with the added addition of a brass section. This was also a huge gig for Laura and the band, not many people get to headline the main room at the Brudenell and many of those don’t get to pack it out so much. There was clearly much love, and anticipation, in the room for Kindelan. The band, and Laura, were in top form with everyone performing at 100%. Is this jazz, modern R&B, rock, pop, or something else? Well, it’s a bit of all that and something special that is that Kindelan sparkle. The first words Laura uttered when she took the stage were “What the fuck” and frankly that summed up the size of this achievement perfectly, even if it wasn’t a “typically Laura thing to say”. The songs on the new EP are irresistibly stunning. My EP highlights from this awesome Brudenell set were “Hazel Frustration”, “Feast” and “She”. However a newer song, “Bruises” was a haunting tale of sorrow about domestic abuse. Laura co-wrote the tune and apparently didn’t want to sing it as it “wasn’t her story”. However, it is a sad story for many people and one that she and the band tell with empathy, care, passion, anger and love. I have previously compared Laura Kindelan with some great performers including Jeff Buckley, Kendrick Lamar, and Nina Simone. I can definitely reiterate all those influences based on this fabulous set. The jazz element to all the songs was enhanced by the addition of the brass duo which brought some Donny McCaslin vibes to the proceedings. One thing that really stands out with this band and Laura as a commanding frontwoman is that they have no fear about using the space and quiet between the notes, which adds a level of atmosphere that some artists can only dream of. Once again the backing vocal harmonies were majestic and magical. It is clear how much Laura rates this band after seeing her step into the audience while the rest of the band finished the show with a final fun and funky jam. This felt like a show that many, many people would look back on as one of the best gigs they’ve seen. Gig of the year so far for me certainly! After a couple more dates (London 8th June, York 10th June) I believe Laura will be taking advantage of some well-earned downtime to recharge her batteries, I wish her well with that, but I also look forward to where she takes her music next.

Laura Kindelan

Meanwhile, get some Kindelan in your life, you won’t regret it. Check out my two-part review of the EP by clicking here for part 1 and here for part 2. Also, feel free to check out my recent interview with Laura Kindelan here.

The Kindelan Brudenell Setlist

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