Cast your minds back into the freezing depths of winter (OK, three weeks ago) and ask yourself: what was the one party in Leeds that made the nightmare months between Christmas and spring a bit less shit? If your answer isn’t Beaverfest then your opinion is wrong! Held at the increasingly popular/notorious Beaver Works in south Leeds, this is a night that brings together a little of everything clubbing should be about. Forget ketty, student, House DJ’s, aggressive bouncers, and extortionate drinks prices. This is the real deal.

The main room played host to an eclectic mix of live bands, featuring some of the most prodigious talent from the UK’s underground circuit. Taking to the stage before midnight, Crinkle Cuts hail from Bristol town and embody all of the musical inventiveness and innovation that it’s famous for. Incorporating elements of Swing, Reggae, Ska and a shed load of Funk, all rolled up into a high octane, eight-piece juggernaut; it’s literally impossible to keep still when these guys play. Aside from the fact that their own tunes are ridiculously good, the encore included the FUNKIEST cover that will ever be done of ‘Chocolate Salty Balls’ (yes that’s right, the one off South Park!) and at one point in the set the talented Miss Antonia Purdie was performing on an aerial hoop above the stage. Too much fun!

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The other standout band of the night were, without a doubt, Buddhist Punkz, sounding as if someone threw The Stooges and The Vines into a blender with Dave Navarro and fronted the result with a London MC. The four piece play bass-heavy Garage Rock with Metal licks and kick out dirty, white hot, three minute tunes while Marcel Atteen (AKA MC Sirreal) stalks the stage, expounding on everything from consumerism to drunken, sexual jealousy. Go see this band please.

One of Beaverfest’s greatest strengths is its melting pot, gathering talent from far and wide under one manic roof. While Wonka-Vision and Preston Mad Hatters smashed the bar room and side room upstairs, the boys from ASBO Disco destroyed the basement. Over the course of the night, which quickly turned into dick o’clock in the morning, a simply astonishing array of quality music could be heard. From the ubiquitous and always well received Slamboree Soundsystem, who’s late set had the bar room jumping at a time most venues are kicking out the bleary eyed stragglers, to the Dub, Ragga and Jungle of Jinx In Dub, one of the hottest producer/DJ’s going at the moment. There was even an AV set from Happy Slap Boutique musical director and Propaganda resident Ocelus.

The next Beaverfest isn’t far away, either, coming back to show the North how to party on the 10th of May. If you haven’t got this in your diary yet then write that shit down now! Oh, and we here at JAM would recommend getting the Monday off work… See you on the dance floor.

Words: Benjamin Paul,   Images: Rachel Hardwick

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