January 28, 2022

Photo credit: Ollie Evans (Y11)

The Return to Friday Night Live at Ilkley Moor Vaults.

As most of Ilkley, and the nation in general, begin to settle down after a hectic Christmas, Ilkley Moor Vaults stands out in stark opposition as a hub of youthful energy and music. This is the second time the news team and I had witnessed the local creative youth descend upon Ilkley moor vaults for Friday night live, an evening event the pub hosts bringing in a greatly diverse audience of proud parents, enthused fans, and supportive peers. Our previous article focused on the talented groups who had growing support on their respective choice of streaming service, this time our focus will be on Solo performances and a freshly formed duo, all of who are students at Ilkley Grammar school or its sixth form. They managed to stir the crowd in their own unique ways to intensity more than comparable with any three or five-piece, however with an unmatched intimacy.

Warp Speed Chick, the aforementioned duo, burst onto the stage with the funkiness appropriate to the perplexing name they were just introduced as with Lou Cody (1/2 of the group and its joint vocalist and guitarist) sporting a hot pink Fender Stratocaster over her shoulder and the twosome matching in black, white and red Converse, igniting the stage and perhaps referencing the key colours of contemporary female/male duo and inspiration the White stripes. The highlight of the group’s performance was their final song: a cover of Elliot Smith’s Say Yes. The cover’s harmonious elements paired with the melancholy lyrics birthed a feeling of being together yet alone and greatly touched the enrapt audience.

The youngest of the performers we saw was Elodie Parsons who joined the school in 2017 however, her acoustic set exuded a musical maturity with a youthful voice brimming with energy and a capacity for healthy angst. Her delicate instrumentation and female voice are reminiscent of the modern wave of female ‘bedroom pop’ artists such as Beabadoobee and Clairo and perhaps her set represents a new and revised sound inspired by such artists for the generation succeeding them. The highlight of Elodie’s set was her cover of Rex Orange County’s Best Friend. Sonically, Elodie’s singing served to heighten the openness and light-hearted tone of the lyrics while the acoustic stage presence brought a new intimacy to the track.

Elodie Parsons (Y9) in full swing. Photo credit: Ollie Evans (Y11)

Finally, but by absolutely no means least, Beth Hardaker who despite experiencing technical difficulties, to which she displayed a professionally Rock & Roll perseverance, played a full set of distinct originals. The set’s softly lit, fairy light-draped surroundings echoed the themes of light seen in Beth’s discography artwork; the focus there being both artificial neon and natural sunsets and served as an all-around moody backdrop for her performance. Sonically Beth used her minimal instrumentation of a keyboard and her voice to their maximum capacity with soulful melodies and vast chords filling the room and spilling into the street.

Again, we would like to thank Ilkley Moor Vaults for hosting such events. It is events like this that, in a time of political and otherwise-orientated divide, not only bring the community together but help it grow and thrive.

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January 2022