Gig Review: Wasted Youth/La Costa Rasa/Paul James Berry

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Songs of Preys looks at a recent gig in Brudenell Social Club, Leeds last month that saw Wasted Youth, La Costa Rasa and Paul James Berry share the stage. He gives us photos, video footage and a full rundown of the show.

Artists: Wasted Youth/La Costa Rasa/Paul James Berry

Location: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds March 2024

Written by Songs of Preys, pictures by Andrew Lawrence

Back in 1979 when Wasted Youth were formed, they were one of the genuine pioneers of the post-punk sound.  Latter bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain have often said that without Wasted Youth there would be no Jesus and Mary Chain.  In the early 80’s Wasted youth disbanded and their guitar hero, Rocco Barker went on to form Flesh for Lulu who took the USA by storm.  A few years ago, founding members Ken Scott and Rocco decided to reform and finish the job they started.  Opening for Psychedelic Furs at the Royal Albert Hall really put them back on the music map and they have now issued the deluxe edition of their album ‘Wild and Wandering’ that boasts many bonus tracks and is available on a limited number of vinyl and CD’s.

On to the show.  Prior to this event, Wasted Youth played Leeds at iconic venues The Warehouse, (where Marc Almond was the DJ) and the F Club.  They decided to start their latest tour in Leeds at the Brudenell, where the aforementioned Jesus and Mary Chain were playing next door, but there is only so much distortion your ears can take.  

Post-punk DJing aside, the show started with solo performer Paul James Berry.  Leeds based performer who was one of the founding members of Leeds goth idols The Rose of Avalanche, but now entertains the crowd with his own style of performing.  He has often been described as a cross between Nick Cave and Bob Dylan, but without the pretentiousness.  The unenviable challenge for any artist opening for a headline act is engaging and winning the crowd, something that PJB certainly did with  powerfully, atmospheric songs like ‘Into Life’, and ‘The Ballade of Serge Gainsbarre’.   If you are looking for some fantastic original music to listen to, Songs of Preys recommend you check out PJB’s music on www.pauljamesberry.com .

Onto another fine Leeds band with La Costa Rasa.  Coming from the city that started the whole goth scene, La Costa Rasa do not follow the tired, tried and tested formula of the more traditional sound of alternative music.  Vocalist Andie Mills belts out some impressive vocals whilst playing electric violin as he is accompanied by the accomplished bassist Jim Fields.  Neither of the support acts were run of the mill, and certainly worth travelling from anywhere to see them both.

After a brief musical interlude provided by the DJ, Wasted Youth took the stage.  As much as some of the line-up has changed, the original core of the band is there and so is that iconic sound.  They performed some of their iconic tracks, ‘I Wish I Was A Girl’, ‘Survivors’ and ‘Maybe We’ll Die With them’.  The Leeds crowd were even treated to the song, ‘Fishes’ that was performed live by Wasted Youth for the very first time. 

Ken and Rocco gel really well with the newer members of the band, the sound is tight, crisp and well-delivered.  It shows how popular Wasted Youth were when people that were at the JAMC gig next door were trying to get in to see Wasted Youth.

 It’s amazing to see and hear a band that started in 1979 still so good and a playing music that does not sounded dated and comes over as impressive as it ever was.  Coming from a DJ/writer/historian/promoter that has been doing this since 1980, it is refreshing to see Wasted Youth play live, and playing it so well.  Not only that, but they do not want to rest on their laurels and just go out playing the same old same old, they are currently in the process of writing and (hopefully) recording new songs.  Next step HAS to be live shows in Europe and USA.

Watch this space!!!




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