Hull indie-punks LIFE bring 'A Picture Of Good Health' to Leeds

LIFE, heading for Leeds.
LIFE, heading for Leeds.

Following the release of their second album 'A Picture Of Good Health' and a blistering BBC Radio 1 Maida Vale session for Jack Saunders, Hull outfit LIFE are hitting the road and heading for Leeds.

The Yorkshire indie-punk band are appearing at the Hyde Park Book Club next Monday (October 28) when they will be playing tracks from their new release alongside older favourites.

Speaking about the album, which came out last month via the band's own label 'Afghan Moon', frontman Mez Green said: “A Picture of Good Health is not a collage of work but rather a snapshot of time; our time and the time of those around us.

"It’s political, but in a personal way. It’s a body of work that explores and examines the band's inner-selves through a precise period; a period that has brought pain, loneliness, blood, guts, single parenthood, depression and the need for survival and love. It is the sense and need for belonging that is the resounding end note.”

LIFE recently embarked on a sold out two-week European tour as main support for Idles as well as playing one of three sold-out London shows at the Electric Ballroom and have played packed out sets at various festivals throughout the year including: Glastonbury, The Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City and Latitude.

The band made quite an impact with their DIY debut album with 2017's 'Popular Music' championed by BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq and winning firm fans (and friends) in fellow post-punkers Idles.

Most unexpectedly, 'Popular Music' even ended up in BBC Radio 1 Albums Of The Year list, where LIFE's gnarly Humberside riffs and scattergun wordplay kept unlikely – but deserved - company with the likes of Jay-Z, Skepta, the xx and Wolf Alice. Two years on, their eagerly awaited, dryly-titled second album, 'A Picture Of Good Health', ups the ante musically and lyrically.

It is the product of an intense four week recording period in Tottenham, North London. Producers Luke Smith (Foals) and Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet Courts) and new bass player Lydia have helped craft a sound that's more robust and musically broader, but which has not lost any of the quartet’s trademark fire and wallop.

Lyrically, the first album took a sideways glance at the modern world, where lyrics about 2-for-1 supermarket deals, Donald Trump, the impact of American right to bear arms, Brexit and UK austerity policies blazed forward in a hailstorm of firecracker imagery comparable to Mark E. Smith’s The Fall. This time, their subject matter is more inward, as brothers and lyricists Mez (vocals) and Mick (guitars) have examined their own emotions, experiences and motivations.

Although LIFE have become firm friends with kindred spirits Idles since meeting in a hotel foyer, there isn’t another band quite like them. They’re the first four-piece guitar band from Hull to make a big splash since the halcyon days of the Housemartins way back in the 1980s. More unusually, their music reflects the community and spirit of their experiences working in the city’s Warren youth project, a rare haven for vulnerable people aged under 25, which also functions as a drop-in advice centre, youth club, educational resource, food bank, music centre and record label.

“We’re very community based and try to comment on everything around us,” explains Mez. “Three members of the band work or have worked in the Warren youth project. Young people can come in – we’ve got free counselling, sexual health, drug advice and a massive LGBT community. Nobody sits in corners. Everybody mingles.

"Youth culture has been squeezed financially and otherwise for years, but the Warren is a special place where you can literally see a community of people helping each other.”