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Cranes in Leeds

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Thursday 9th May 2024, £18.00
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Formed in Portsmouth, UK by the brother and sister duo of Jim Shaw (drummer, guitarist, programmer) and Alison Shaw (vocalist, bassist, guitarist), Cranes first appeared in 1986 with Fuse, a self-released and now highly sought-after cassette of demos.

Their debut album Self-Non-Self followed in 1989, catching the attention of legendary DJ John Peel, who invited them to record two sessions for his BBC show in 1989 and 1990.

Mark Francombe (quitarist, keyboardist and bassist) and Matt Cope (guitarist) joined ranks to form the line up who would go on to record five albums for Dedicated including Forever (1993) which enjoys its 30th anniversary this year. Their sound has been described as a unique mix of art rock and ethereal dream pop.

After a brief hiatus in the late nineties Cranes re-emerged in 2001 with their own label Dadaphonic to release a series of albums including Future Songs featuring a more electronic, sparsely arranged sound whilst retaining the core characteristics of their previous works. Published by Mute Records, many Cranes songs have appeared in films, TV dramas and documentaries, both in UK and America.

Cranes have always kept things interesting by giving their music an element of edginess and unpredictability. Some of their songs make their point with no more than three notes played repeatedly on a piano, while others rely on screeching, wailing walls of sound provided by guitarists Matt Cope and Mark Francombe. All of these elements are complemented perfectly by Shaws unmistakable vocal style and her brother Jim Shaws precise and powerful percussion. Cranes is a band with a furiously creative drive which allows even their simplest songs to sound beautifully honest and original. Andy Dolan

Cranes are releasing John Peel Sessions (1989-1990) on their own Dadaphonic label on 2nd June. This compilation features original artwork by fêted 4AD and v23 sleeve designer Chris Bigg (Pixies, Cocteau Twins, The Breeders).

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