Trackback Thursday: Devastation by The Besnard Lakes

It was 2010 and my musical life felt that it had ground to a holt. I had massively high expectations that the new millennium may well herald a new wave of amazing and different music. Maybe it did and I just missed the wave somehow… there was always going to be bands who defy their times and get in under the radar. The problem was that at that time I had no way/ motivation to delve into the sonic depths of underground scenes.

I had all but switched off from live music, with only the odd gig that may coincide a work trip down to London, nothing fresh or new though… and even this really was the exception. By then I also had a young family, and getting out for the evening was something of a limited prospect.

This is something that briefly changed in the Summer of 2010. My wife and sons went off to visit family, and I was left home alone on Leeds for a couple of weeks… an event so rare I am not sure it has happened since.

Anyway, that’s by the by… what is important is that I decided to see what gigs were on in the city. This being August there was very little but for some reason this listing caught my eye… I must have checked out the ‘MySpace’ pages and thought that this double header was worth a punt; although I went into the gig not really knowing anything of either band’s music.

That night at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds is one that I can remember vividly to this day as the beautiful voice of then Sleepy Sun vocalist Rachel Fannan pierced the dense summer air as the band set up. Fannan unfortunately left the band later on that tour… but she provided quite a moment for me as I eased myself back into the live music scene. It was a real moment in time… a moment that stopped me in my tracks. Sleepy Sun hadn’t even started but I was spellbound.

Sleepy Sun played an amazing set as I remember, a wonderful mix of hazy psychedelia and something altogether more edgy… all played with real attitude.

I was already on the way to some sort of reverberatory redemption when The Besnard Lakes took to the stage and equally blew me away with a heavier yet commensurate blend of styles… sealing the deal with ‘Devastation’, probably the track more than any other that night that led me down a musical wormhole that I am still exploring nearly a decade later.

That gig had me spellbound, and I scoured the Brudenell’s listings pages for something similar… this led me to shows by Wooden Shjips, the first two supported by a new local band called Hookworms… and then picking up on Hookworms gigs led me directly to the Liverpool PsychFest in 2013 where I encountered bands such as Mugstar, Moon Duo, The Cosmic Dead, Carlton Melton, The Oscillation, Psychic Ills, Fuzz, White Manna… well you get the point…

From ‘Devastation’ came a sonic havoc which opened up new avenues and new friendships; and an inspiration to write about music and to finally set up my first website ‘Psych Insight Music’, and now this one.

…and it all started because I was at a loose end in Leeds one Summer’s evening.



Thanks very much for reading my blog, I really appreciate this. I write it as a labour of love to help me enjoy music, and to give something back to the many talented people who put out these incredible sounds.

To make it as enjoyable as possible for others I do pay extra so there are, for instance, no ads on these pages; but it would be great if the blog could pay for itself.

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