A highlight of this year’s Manchester Dot to Dot festival was to catch Seattle’s Dude York in the cool, grungy and intimate atmosphere of the attic of Aatma in the Northern Quarter. Ultimately I was a little worse for wear (will I ever learn how to pace myself?) but I did manage to hold things together long enough to make sure I remembered the gig, to speak with lead singer and guitarist Peter Richards for a few minutes to discover they were in the UK and Europe to support Bully on their tour, and to buy their rather wonderful pink vinyl 2017 released album Sincerely (which by some miracle arrived back home with me some hours later).
What I particularly liked about this dynamic three-piece was the variety of emotion and sound in their songs. If the honest guts and style of Peter Richards wasn’t enough, co-lead singer and bassist Claire England has a sassy voice with attitude which also suits their rather classic and pure new wave sound. Drummer Andrew Hall also contributes to the songs and lyrics. Live the band came over as loud, powerful and strongly likeable and catchy. A lighthearted moment presented itself as Richards bounded off the stage to do a little mingling with the crowd only to find his electric cabling too restrictive.
One of the tunes on the album is the very American retro Love Is. It’s a travesty that this song hasn’t been blasted over the airwaves for the past 12 months.
On the Sincerely album there is a wild mix of emotions and personal experiences; Paralyzed for example shares an experience common to many of us; that rather wild, freaked out feeling you can get after imbibing too many good things in too short a timescale. While most of the songs have bouncing riffs and choruses, Time’s Not on My Side offers a reflective acoustic vibe, and Richard’s voice has something of a Lou Reed hangdog feel. With three creative and active members), this is a band oozing creativity. The Sincerely album was recorded twice after the band realised they had been trying too hard on it, and they stripped it back to produce an honest album full of personal reflection and emotion. With the everyday stories and the banging riffs, these good folks truly are the love children of The Ramones.
The new release (following a love it or hate it Christmas themed mini-album) is led by a confident and banging Claire England. Moon has plenty of sass and swagger with England on top of a wave reflecting upon the rest of the world. There’s something of the 90’s power pop of the likes of Wheatus with a thrusting, surging insistent beat and hook which is going to carry on until it invades your brain. Moon shows Dude York happy and confident in their skin and prove it’s a lovely way to be.
Go and grab your fill of Dude York in recorded form and count down the days until they return to the UK and a stage near you.