REVIEW: KEG plus Bull and Needlework: The Crescent, York Thursday, October 5

ON a dark, dank autumn evening, The Crescent welcomed a stellar line-up to its stage.

The new and excellent York band Needlework launched the proceedings with the wonderful Tambourines followed by the equally good Chernobyl; the band’s fresh, solid and quirky sound and look reminiscent of music legends The Fall.

York Press: KEG at The Crescent in YorkKEG at The Crescent in York

Having formed in early 2023, and invited to open the bill tonight after their triumphant recent debut at The Fulford Arms, Needlework have quickly acquired a healthy following. Lead singer Reuben Pugh was constantly in motion as he fumbled with his guitar and cowbell and teased the crowd with ironic movements and gestures.

Songs War Pants, Nettles, and Popstar showed an impressive range of songs and maturity, the band closing a strong set with London and Single Uncles, great song names from an exciting new band with huge potential and appeal.

Surprise special guests, and second on the bill, were local rising stars Bull, hailed locally as the first York band to sign a major label record deal since Shed Seven.

The four-piece celebrated their EMI Recordings deal in 2020 with the release of the single Green and tonight treat their devoted followers to favourites Bedroom Floor, Eugene and Bonzo Please as well as the excellent and latest release Stuck!

With a catalogue of strong and catchy songs, Bull are a great live band and are regarded by many as the best of local talent. The band will no doubt go from strength to strength in both the recording studio and on stage, tonight’s show bearing witness to talent and potential reach.

York Press: Bull at The Crescent in YorkBull at The Crescent in York

Finally, Brighton-based headliners KEG took the stage, a chaotic seven-strong ensemble performing synth-heavy, animated big-band mayhem in the form of a gig-meets-party. Their performance was frantic and off-beat with sky-high energy levels from singer Albert Haddenham as he screamed and sang through fan favourites from the rift-laden Quip Quash to the catchy Elephant and the danceable NPC.

The seven musicians of KEG appear to come from different points of the musical spectrum yet blend beautifully as they draw inspiration from original post-punk Talking Heads, their tight and infectious sound led by charismatic oddball spirit of Haddenham.

The Crescent tonight was a fun-filled triumph of local and national talent, a trio of great bands lifting the spirits of the audience over three captivating hours.