NEWS: Living Body @ The Cumberland Arms | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Striking while the iron’s hot, this week sees a swift return to Newcastle for Leeds’ gloriously eclectic collective Living Body. Fully reanimated following a lengthy, partly pandemic-induced layoff, the quintet follow February’s joyous showing at Summerhill Bowling Club with a visit to The Cumberland Arms on Thursday 16th November, all courtesy of prolific promoter Endless Window.

Piloted by Chicago expat Jeff T. Smith, this self-described “immigrant-led double-drumming harmony-laden anti-capitalist hook machine” arrive fresh off the back of rousing latest single No Debt – the latest stop on their route to a follow-up to 2016 debut album Body is Working. With its effervescent percussion, weightless guitar and Smith’s effortless harmonies with co-vocalist Alice Rowan (who some readers may know as DIY pop marvel Mayshe-Mayshe), No Joy epitomises the expansive, multi-layered, and uncategorisable beauty Living Body have patented. Likewise, it epitomises their penchant for marrying perfect pop with political heft, taking influence from US president Joe Biden’s campaign pledge to write-off student debt – since abandoned amidst a right-wing and corporate backlash. Stirring, heartfelt and determinedly unconventional, Living Body are a live band like no other. If you missed them at the beginning of the year, don’t make the same mistake twice!

As with every Endless Window show, they’re backed by an equally enticing local undercard. Fresh from the release of their own debut album A Bad Dream in a Raging Sea last month, Waves of Dread’s union of dense, washed-out guitars with dreamy atmospherics and cathartic songwriting has culminated in one of the standout records our region has spawned in 2023. Its lofty ambitions ought to make them an ideal support, alongside last-minute additions Slow Decades, whose bittersweet and reflective guitar-pop is sure to be fine-tuned with a dream slot opening for Field Music awaiting over the weekend. Whether you’re a returning fan or sampling both for the first time, make sure you’re present and correct by 8pm!

For Teesside fans, the band will also perform at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton on Saturday 18th November as part of Songs From Northern Britain.


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