Alvin Purple
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Alvin Purple

Leeds, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Leeds, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Alternative Pop


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"Music Mondays"

Elephant & Castle (feat. tUnE-yArDs) – En Memoria (via soundcloud)

Plants and Animals – Lightshow (via soundcloud)

Kayln Rock – Valentine

Alvin Purple – Huh her / Please Please (via bandcamp)

Ventury – Volcano (via soundcloud) - The Music Slut

"Huh Her / Please Please - Single Review"

When you hear the name Alvin Purple what do you think? My thought was simple - ‘this best be funky as hell’. I wanted levels of funk that would knock the star-shaped glasses from Bootsy Collins face. Funk-drenched rhythms that could make even Sly Stone dance to the music. Alvin Purple though, are far from a throwback funk outfit - messing with the types of genres that probably oughtn’t be messed with.

In fact, Alvin Purple sound like a product of the regrettable love between Jamiroquai and the Scissor Sisters. Now, though that bastard child has grown up, is sporting long greasy hair, and has even started staring at its shoes a lot. This description of course, sounds terrible – funky rhythms with electronic, shoegaze, indie and slick pop overtones? But wait, Alvin Purple are incredibly adept at balancing these contrasting styles, to the point where their double single just gels with intrinsic ease.

‘Huh Her’ begins with a soulful vocal loop, before da funk kicks in hard- with a saucy bass groove led by the guiding hand of a crisp drum pattern. Funk central. Then, all of a sudden, BANG. Pounding distorted indie chorus. Then, WALLOP. Electro punctuation. Sure… Wait though, KAPOW. Twiddly Shoegazey guitar diddling. BLAMMO. Top notch pop song.

‘Please Please’ follows with a brief electronic glitch before hurling itself into a brooding indie-electro-pop chorus, flooded with a huge indie riff and a squeeking synth backdrop. This is dark, and dangerously danceable. At this point though, Alvin Purple aren’t about to rest on their laurels - as the track suddenly descends into a dingy sub-gothic hole, with the haunting cry of "Please, please don’t leave" echoing from below.

The effortlessness with which Alvin Purple operate and mash together genres is a joy to behold, and Huh Her/Please Me is able to balance this experimental lunacy with a simple desire to make great pop music. - Croon

"Winter Blues"

While checking my email I found a pleasant little surprise by the name of Alvin Purple from Leeds in the UK. Not only does their vocalist Carly Humphries evoke the ferocity of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O, their soon to be released single of “Huh Her”, is a carefully crafted indie-rock track with heavy with the sound of clanging guitars and crashing cymbals. Watch the video below and grab the download of the single along with equally charismatic b-side “Please, Please”: - Swede and Sour

"Track of the Day"

Another day, another slew of music-y type goings on here at Killing Moon HQ. We have to admit that we are as excited as we are anxious for various eventualities to take place in the coming months (and boy-oh-boy is some big boy shit going down). We are boldly going where probably a number of people have gone before, yet from a personal perspective this year will likely represent decisive steps that we’ve been secretly quite vocally wishing we had taken a lot sooner since long before we commenced our love/hate relationship with the music biz. Things are only set to improve due to the large influx of bad-ass tunage that’s been recently sent in our general direction; which nicely brings us to new Track Of The Day’ers Alvin Purple. Having actually done an modicum of research into this funky-funky four piece (insomnia has its benefits if time is not on your side), we’ve discovered that this is not the first round of blog action that the latest best thing to come out of Leeds has experienced, having touched down on the blogosphere a couple of years back – although we can’t verify exactly when or in regards to what that was due to many-a prominent online facility (yeah, alright, we went on Hype Machine) staging a deliberate blackout in protest to the recent intellectual property reforms the American government are currently frigging with; so stick THAT in your PIPA and smoke it, Murdoch. Regardless, soon-to-be-released single Huh Her ( to be buddied up with additional track Please Please) – on the 23rd January to be exact – is a volcanic display of rendered female vocals that hollers to other sassy stalwarts such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, KT Tunstall and The Gossip, with the added force of one of the most formidable rhythm sections that we’ve heard in ages, which leaves us with the impression that these dudes have not only the tools but also the talent to really make their mark in months to come. No sign of London dates as of yet, but we’re as sure as shit rolls downhill that this won’t be the case for very long; we’re mostly attributing that to the fact that once you hear this, you will never get it out of your head. - The Killing Moon

"Alvin Purple - Huh Her"

Leeds-based indie rockers Alvin Purple are three guys and a girl whose lead singer can, at times, sound like Sophie Ellis-Bextor. But don’t let that put you off. These guys revel in a lo-fi energy that crackles like fireworks in Balotelli’s bathroom, sending Huh Her blazing off into the night sky. Please Please, on the other hand, is more considered and relatively long, and perhaps suffers slightly from the dilution of the band’s natural force.

Huh Her (somewhat obviously titled, once you’ve heard the song) is driven by the punctuating drumming, and both the bass and guitar unite to form a cantering show of raw force during the chorus. This is a song in which no sound is wasted. Please Please, instead relies more heavily on the vocals of Carly Humphries, and thus loses out on much of the driving rhythm which makes “Huh Her” so compelling – the coordinated explosiveness of the band.

That’s not to say that her vocals are in any way lacking – the melody of Please Please will writhe around your head for days, even if she does, at times, sound like Sophie Ellis-Bextor. - Electric Banana

"Alvin Purple - Huh Her"

Great pop songs that you should check out... - Speakerboxxx

"Son Frais Du Jeudi 12 Janvier"

Une sorte d’électro-pop chelou mais entêtante. Bingo. - Surl Magazine (France)

"Alvin Purple - The Reccomender"

Only last week we were ranting on about a northern band, called Citi Petts, that in parts reminded us of The Gossip, with oversized guitar riffs and lots of punched-with-a-run-up beats. Today we are fishing in the same pond, as we’ve recently had contact from another northern band who’s new single can have it’s genetics traced back to that same American band, giving us a case of blog ditto inside of just a few days, (Ed – perhaps that should be Beth Ditto). If you like your guitar music to drive like Ryan Gosling and to hark back to the Siouxsie Sioux days when guitar grit was mixed with alternative rock diesel then you will find plenty of fuel in this new band from Leeds.

Alvin Purple are a quartet, led wonderfully by female singer, Carly Humphries, that actually launched their first double A-sided single, The Look/Stare to Declare, back in 2010. It earned them some blog coverage and a sprinkling of radio airplay on BBC 6music and Radio One. The Look introduced Humphries’ signature burnt vocals that came in repetitions over Ralph Sayers’ grinding bass riff, whilst Luke Barnfather blasted Rapture-styled guitar riffs in chopped bursts. Stare To Declare brought in more synths and a smoother, more sophisticated expansion to their sound. The first listens had us concluding that here was yet another re-hashed, post-punk sound, or perhaps at best they were seven years too late for a guitar scene that once gave us The Gossip, or even lesser-known fellow-Leeds bands such as The Hair, or The Sunshine Underground, but inside both tracks there were a few key signs that there was life beyond their obvious influences.

It was tough getting over their garage sound, which felt a little irrelevant to today’s computer-based, self-produced, Internet crowd of savvy, often electronic pioneers. But herein lies what also makes them interesting. Firstly, they followed that initial single by spending most of last year playing only sporadic shows, selecting to focus on recording a string of singles with producers, James Kenosha and Lee Smith (Middleman / Mi Mye), that are now set for releases through 2012. Secondly, this gap has allowed a slightly tweaked sound to emerge, proving that they now have the potential to transcend any current, temporary trends, much in the same way the obviously comparative band The Yeah Yeah‘s do. Just like Karen O‘s American outfit they will find more favourable responses by highlighting an intelligent depth to their music, as much as rocking it out in their productions. They need to get out of the garage and into people’s heads. Just look at the breadth in craft shown between The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s tunes Maps and Zero for example.

So the next Alvin Purple release is their new single, Huh Her, which immediately shows us something relatively new. Humphries’ kicks things off with an excellent vocal refrain, before the machine begins to pump behind her. There’s still the industrial energy – this band is unlikely to try and show us their Soft Shock – with a bass-led groove throughout. It continues to prove that they can wind it up to the louder levels that they’ve always been capable of, but it also seems they’re now able to rumble without losing touch of what is required in the design of a single, as hooks and bounce are at the centre of their craft this time around. They excitedly mentioned to us that they had the chance to use the mixing desk from Bjork’s studio and utilised a tape machine that was owned by Paul McCartney, showing us just how much they adore the legends from our rich history, but if it’s success they want then we believe they’d be better off spending time looking forwards not backwards. However, what they lack in positive invention, they make up for with other key elements, such as energy and style, so we think this is a band in the process of evolution, and if they hunt for new, original elements to add their arsenal then it will be the future that will most excite them, not the past. (MB) - The Reccomender

"They've got the look..."

Back in April, I wrote a lovely band from Leeds, England called Alvin Purple. This quartet certainly piqued my interest when I listened to their double A-side singleand thought they were most certainly on the come. I hadn’t heard anything heard anything since until today when Matty informed me that they just released a video for the song The Look which just happened to be my fave track. Here it is in all its glory with no frills. You don’t get many promotional films like this anymore. The band looks great. They’re really into it. You’re into it. The message is received. The end.

Do yourself a favour and grab a digital copy of The Look single now from the band’s Bandcamp site now. - The boy with a thorn in his side

"Alvin Purple (Band of The Week)"

Our Band Of The Week, is a feature designed to promote the wonderful unsigned and indie label talent on offer in the UK right now.

Alvin Purple are this week’s choice. A Leeds based electronic, indie-pop outfit, who began their musical career in 2008, by making a bedroom demo, armed with only a laptop and a couple of microphones. The response that the demo received caught the four piece a little off guard, causing them to decamp to Leeds and concentrate on writing and rehearsing on a farm in the middle of nowhere.

ImageThe group have spent a lot of time gigging, including an impressive set at this year’s Galtres Festival. Their last headline show was on the 13th of September, at The Macbeth in Shoreditch, London. That is at least until the group now take some time to record with James Kenosha, who has previously worked with Pulled Apart By Horses, Grammatics and Lone Wolf. The group are expected to start playing the live scene again in November, with plans for an EP release early next year.

The electronic, indie-pop music that the group produce is extremely polished and well put together, as tracks The Look and Stare To Declare show. Stonking drums, wonderful bass, synths, keyboards and fantastic guitar riffs make up the sound, complimented by brilliant sampling, which Carly’s excellent vocals complete, giving the experimental and very unique sound that is very much their own.

The group describe their sound as electronic, lo-fi indie-pop, shoegaze, soul and trip hop. Pretty eclectic I think you will agree. The sound is very much 80’s new wave, brought bang up to date and the similarities between Alvin Purple and The Ting Ting’s, Killing Joke and The Stone Roses are very subtle, but also hard to ignore.

Alvin Purple are Carly (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keys), Luke (Lead Guitar, Keys, Vocals), Matt (Drums, Sampling) and Ralph (Bass).

This very talented group are a band definitely worth looking out for, their tracks; The Look and Stare To Declare have already received radio air play in Europe, America and Australia and with plans to record new tracks very soon, they look a band destined for good things and another UK group, very much worthy of the Band Of The Week title. Energetic on stage, Alvin Purple make for very good viewing and listening when playing live, something that the group excel at, managing to recreate their polished sound on stage.
- Stereoboard

"New Video:Alvin Purple "The Look""

We need to be subjecting more posts to local bands and being that Leeds is a stones throw away, who better than relatively new band Alvin Purple. The guys have just released a new video for their track 'The Look'. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the group, they are:

Carly Humphries, Matthew Bradley, Ralph Sayers and Luke Barnfather.

The band released a double a side for this track and 'Stare To Declare' back in March. For the free download go to their Bandcamp page. Some further news is that they are currently working on a new EP for release in 2011, for now though enjoy this video for 'The Look'... - 1forthepeople

"Alvin Purple - The Look"

Thisisfakediy posted the video to The Look on their homepage. - Thisisfakediy


Leeds… Home to such brilliance like the Gang Of Four, the Sisters Of Mercy, iLIKETRAINS and Soft Cell. Oh yeah…the Kaiser Chiefs are from there as well. With such an esteemed musical history to speak of, it was pretty cool to receive an email from an extremely promising new band that is proud to call the northern city home. I’d like to introduce you lot to Alvin Purple! This young but very talented indie rock outfit are finding their way in the world with a very promising 2-track single in tow called The Look/Stare To Declare as their calling card. Let’s just say that they’re off to quite a start.

The two tracks left quite a mark upon hearing them over and over a few times. The Look with its killer bass line and Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets the Kills vibe is definitely a fun, uptempo track that sounds perfect as a show opener. While on the flip side, we get a bit more mellow with Stare To Declare which features some impressive guitar work towards the end. Highly recommended and I’m looking forward to hearing more from the foursome. - Billy Suede

"Oddly... Amazing: Alvin Purple"

I really like this type of rock. A little bit dirty, quite a bit grand and very melodic. It took somewhere around 10 second before I realized that Alvin Purple appealed to me, and I really hope that they will head out on some kind of tour soon, quite simply cause it would rock! - Oddly Amazing

"Alvin Purple"

Just a few hours ago a mail popped into the mailbox like it happens all the time.

It was a modest mail only containing a brief introduction and two links. Stream and download. I opened up the stream link and gave the tracks a listen like I often do and sadly way too many times I’m disappointed by the quality. But HEY! This was not one of those times.

The vocal was dirty and energetic as were the guitar and drums. Amazingly energetic. And the tracks were well produced! I found myself immediately liking the two tracks from Leeds based Alvin Purple!

Originally Alvin was an 1973 film about an irresistible man and his “sexcapades” and it’s a mystery to my why the quartet choose this particular name.

Give these two tracks a good listen then go download them for free! - Hejven

"Review: The Galtres Festival"

THE Galtres Festival might be in danger of outgrowing itself. Starting life six years ago as a beer festival with music, the event is inching towards becoming a full-blown summer music festival.

However, it’s obviously incomparable to the likes of Reading or Leeds, which took place over the same weekend, and its problem is it might want to start resembling them a little too much – and end up being a third-rate little brother.

Last year, it was held nearer Crayke, around the cricket ground, where families could take their children to the nearby playground or wander round the village. It had the feel of a real community event, almost a fete, with decent music and, more importantly to some, quality beers.

This year, it moved a mile out of the village to afford it more space, and, in trying to improve the line-up on stage to attract a larger attendance, it mixed a host of decent up-and-coming local bands with a few big names, albeit ones whose chart days are behind them.

It also increased the admission fees and introduced a voucher system as festival currency, with the natural result being less value for money and a move from community towards corporate thinking.

The indifferent weather – high winds and annoying showers – did not help, so any value for money, given that most folk wouldn’t pay £30 just to enter a weekend beer festival, therefore depended on people’s good nature, which happily remained intact throughout – and, of course, the acts.

Sunday headliners The Beat and Dodgy were energetic and enthusiastic, while on Saturday the Lightning Seeds were professional enough and likewise played their old hits as expected, albeit giving the impression they were going through the motions a little. They also omitted from their set their biggest hit, the footballtastic Three Lions, although, given England’s terrible showing at the World Cup, it would probably have gone down poorly anyway.

Local favourite Chris Helme was a standout performer on Saturday. He played a few of the singalong hits he had with The Seahorses, some solo numbers and a couple of covers, mixing vocal gentleness and power throughout.

All were excellent, even if his ‘band with no name’, who ably backed him on some tracks, had only been set up a few rehearsals earlier. He was probably more ebullient, too, than Miles Hunt, of Wonderstuff fame, who also proved popular during his acoustic set.

Some of the lesser-known names down the lengthy bill, meanwhile, played far above their rating, among them young Littlemores, recent Battle of the Bands winners, who kicked off proceedings with aplomb, the almost-quirky Alvin Purple, the enthralling Davis Ward MacLean with his strong yet soft Scottish tones, Mantra and the curiously named The Dilfs.

Acoustic sets by Andy Stones and performances, and workshops, by the Funky Junk Trio were among the many other acts to go down well on the smaller stages – all helping to make the once quaint festival a success once again despite its changing format. - Yorkshire Evening Press

"Alvin Purple"

Alvin Purple formed towards the end of 2008, things started off quite Lo-Fi with just a handful of songs. Their demo “Don’t be alarmed”/”laptop + one mic” caught some attention & the quartet managed to get a support slot on Dark Captain Light Captain’s tour…their 2nd gig ever was a sold out show at the 100 Club in London.

Since then, the band has been constantly gigging, they spent most of last year developing their live sound, writing, messing around with VST’s, synths, drum samples & rehearsing on a dairy farm in the middle of nowhere. They also just released “The Look”/”Stare to Declare”, which was recorded in Leeds on a freezing day in February. It took just a day to track & a day to mix. Check it out: - Welikeit.indie

"Alvin Purple"

When I first heard Alvin Purple’s “The Look” I immediately thought of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s back in their “Date With The Night” and “Pin” heydays. Singer Carly does sound a bit like Karen O in the beginning, with her voice slightly distorted against the backdrop of a simple bass drum, and the added growling guitar chords only confirm my initial impression. But as the song proceeds it becomes clear that Alvin Purple have a lighter and more composed sound. So no, they’re not another Yeah Yeah Yeahs copy, as their other track “Stare to Declare” has a post-rock/shoegaze feel to it with its swirling guitars and a fluid composition. It is also my favorite of the two.

With members hailing from Leeds and York, Alvin Purple formed in late 2008 and got their first break after only a few months with the demo “Dont’ Be Alarmed”, helping them land a supporting slot on a Dark Captain Light Captain’s tour. The gigs followed one another after that, helping the band develop their sound both on and off stage. While starting out rather Lo-Fi, they began to flesh out their sound with synths and drum machines, resulting in their current eclectic mixture of influences. The double A-side “The Look/Stare to Declare” is the band’s first release and is available for free via their bandcamp site (of course you can also nab them below but you can choose format at bandcamp, if that’s preferred). They hope to follow up with a second single within a few months, and then perhaps set out on a tour. So stay tuned. - I Am The Crime

"Alvin Purple: The Look"

Leeds UK band Alvin Purple just finished mixing two new tracks. Both tracks are available for free download here. The Look, below, captured me instantly with the Carly Humphries opening vocals that are as much a surrender as they are a kiss off. - Kick Kick Snare

"Alvin Purple Release Double A-Side"

Welcome latest female-led new-wave indie group, Alvin Purple (Not to be confused with the 70's sex-farce by the same name). They have just finished a double A-side that shows 2 different sides of this Leeds, Uk band.

The first track, “The Look”, has this wicked bassline that adds some funk and groove to a very accessible pop track. The 2nd track, “Stare to Declare”, has a bit more shoegaze feel to it. The guitars are thick, creating this wall of sound, the bass simple and deep an a vibe that has moody feel to it. Check them out for yourself.

You can download the double A-Side from their site

enjoY! - Boom Boom Chik

"Introducing: Alvin Purple"

Here's an insider hint to bands I've never heard before. Follow the formula that a Leeds' based band concocted. It's simple really. Toss me an email with some tracks, and have that first song launch straight into a heavy throttling drum beat and slick echoey vocals. Then a deep and dirty bass line kicks in and I'm pretty much sold. Hey, Alvin Purple, welcome to Beastonia!


So who is this newcomer and how did they land here today? Alvin Purple, in not so many words, is a girl and 3 guys: vocalist/guitarist and keyboarder Carly Humphries, drummer Matthew Bradley, bassist Ralph Sayers and guitarist/keyboardist and vocalist Luke Barnfather. Alvin Purple formed towards the end of 2008, and have since been playing across the UK, having performed a BBC live session with airplay across the BBC introducing network and on BBC6 music.

Rooted in rock with a splash of trip-hop and new-wave, Alvin Purple have a new double A-side available for free download here. First up: The Look is the track I was referencing above. Dark and deep, it just makes me want to get dirty. On the flip, Stare to Declare involves more of an electronic feel while still rumbling through a gritty arrangement. Additionally, give a listen to Don't Be Alarmed on their MySpace.

100% Beaston approved. Get to know ' em now. - Sheena Beaston

"Matt Seymour's More Raw Live at The Duchess in York"

The team behind BBC Radio York Introducing has held a night at The Duchess in York.

They had four fantastic North Yorkshire bands: Alvin Purple, Overreact, The Jaw-line of Julianne Moore and Hungry Ghosts.

The gig, on Thursday 21 January, was recorded with each band's highlights to be played on BBC Radio York Introducing through February.

From the dark, minimalist jazz & soul of Alvin Purple, to the slightly menacing yet superb song writing of BBC Introducing veterans Hungry Ghosts, BBC York Introducing at The Duchess brought together some of the best bands in North Yorkshire.

The team has moved out of the secret location where the band sessions have been recorded through 2009. They've sounded great and been a lot of fun, but nothing beats the adrenaline of live. The crowd right there in front of your face, baying for more (if you're lucky).

So the team decided to put on what will, hopefully, be the first of many live nights in North Yorkshire. Dates for future events will be announced later.

If you're under 18, have no fear because The Duchess is open to 14+. This means ID is essential. Make sure you bring some as we'd hate you to be disappointed.

The Bands

Alvin Purple

Dark, minimalist and unlike any other band gigging in North Yorkshire. Alvin Purple have played live for BBC Introducing in the past and will bring you a stunning blend of jazz & soul with a bit of The Clash and trip-hop thrown in for good measure. The captivating vocals of Carly are worth the ticket price alone.


Up to the minute angular, indie-pop championed by BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens and with the potential for greatness. They cite influence from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Cribs, Tokyo Police Club and even the legendary David Bowie... and it shows.

The Jaw-line of Julianne Moore

If the Polyphonic Spree had synths, a surrealist leaning and a love of Theramin, they might be almost as good as this Scarborough favourite. Better described as an orchestra than a band, Jawline are the sound man's nightmare and crowd's delight. Expect the unexpected.

Hungry Ghosts

Veterans of the BBC Introducing festival stage, Hungry Ghosts have that thing all indie bands crave: a unique sound. Stunning song writing and an air of menace surround one of York's finest acts who, despite their hard exterior keep losing their drummer to pantomime. - BBC

"Review - York, Fibbers, 11th March"

What's in a name? Well, if I'm honest, I'd always given The Hair a wide berth because the name was simply lousy (if you'll pardon the pun). So the change of name may count for more than the change of direction, at least inasmuch as it was enough to bring me down to tonight's show.

Of course, there's always the small matter of the warm-up acts first. As a rule, I try to make an effort to hear whoever's supporting because, well, you never know. For every (few) dozen lousy supports I've seen, there have been one or two absolute gems, class acts who've outshone the headliners and convinced me that this is a band I need to hear again. I consider it worth sifting through the chaff to make these discoveries: I'm patient like that.

Bearfoot Beware aren't one of those gems. Just as there's a fine line between genius and madness, there's a fine line between avant-garde art-rock and shit. Some of the component parts have potential - some neat guitar riffs, strolling basslines and loping drum rhythms. Sadly, they don't come together: out of time, off key and not held together at all by one of the most irritating front men I've seen and heard in a while, they are, frankly painful. It's a shame: if they did a few things only slightly differently, they'd be one of the coolest bands on the planet, but as it is, they're really, really bad.

In contrast, Alvin Purple are a real revelation. The mix and overall sound is substantially better for a start, and they play tightly and deliver a full and clean sound. There's texture and variety here: the guitars move effortlessly and when least expected from soaring sonic cathedrals to naggingly catcy elastic sounds via all-out shredding riffs, and are complimented by some deliberate, solid and precise percussion. Ok, so it helps to have a singer who's a bit slinky, but that's only worth so much - which means it helps a lot that she can sing, too. It's good stuff: not so much dream pop as dream rock, theirs is a sound that's both meaty and melodic.

This sets the scene nicely for Club Smith who are touring their debut EP. There's no denying their musical abilities, or the tightness of their performance. From start to finish, they give us songs that are well-executed, rhythmically-led and of the electro/guitar retro (or is that neo-retro? Pseudo-retro?) style that's currently all the rage. Perhaps this is why they failed to really excite me: there's just so much of this sort of stuff around at the moment.

The vocals are on the nondescript side, and in places they're on the verge of the territory occupied by Keane on their last album. That said, atop the smooth synths and crisp mechanised skeleton, there's a New Wave angularity that's reminiscent of The Cure in their early days, and the bedroom angst is carried to good effect by a mesh of guitar treble.

So while they might not have had me going wild, I really can't knock 'em. On the evidence of the turnout tonight, there are a fair few who really do dig them: deservedly so.
- Whispering and Hollerin

"Review - The Look / Stare to Declare"

This double A-side definitely shows two distinctly different sides of Alvin Purple - a female fronted four-piece from Leeds who pitch themselves as electronic / lo-fi indiepop / shoegaze / soul / trip hop - not some bloke called Alvin. I'm assuming it's a reference to the 1973 Australin sex-farce (yes, I did my research). Anyway, two different sides of the band, yet clearly marking a blueprint of a distinct sound of their own.

For my money, 'Stare to Declare' is the stronger of the two songs, beginning with a pulsing synth bass and climaxing with a shrill off feedback. In the middle, we have some sassy vocals and a solid beat from a drummer who shows great restraint when it comes to cymbal work and big fills, something I consider a rare virtue. Throughout, the guitars and murky and dense, breaking into a thick, sludgy distortion in the second half, acting as a well-balanced counter to the singing. The shoegaze aspect of the band's sound is especially prominent here, and while it may not be cool to say as much, there's also something of a gothy tinge to the atmosphere.

'The Look' is altogether more overtly commercial, built around a fat and rather funky bass groove and insistent, nagging guitar line that has a bounce to it without being excessively poppy. No doubt about it, it's a grower. - Whispering and Hollerin

"New Band Spotlight"

Alvin Purple are a four-piece from Leeds that have just finished (or are in the process of finishing) the mixes of a double A side.

They didn’t really give us much more information than that, which is a shame; I actually quite like the tracks.

‘The Look’ has a sound resembling Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs if she’d gone down a more soulful, jazz-club style; complete with some Bloc Party guitar noises to boot. ‘Stare to Declare’ comes with some nice vocal-play set against a large mass of delay-pedal goodness.

You can download both the tracks from the mysterious release at the band’s homepage.

Their Myspace is here.
Buzz this

* Stephen McLeod's blog

Read more: - Artrocker


(November 2010) AP0001 - The Look / Stare to Declare (Double A Side)

(January 2012) Huh Her / Please Please



ALVIN PURPLE release 2 track single "Huh Her" / "Please Please" on 23/01/12. The single was recorded with producer James Kenosha (Dry the River / Pulled Apart by Horses) in his Bridlington studio in 2011.

Consisting of Carly Humphries (Vocals/Guitar/Synths), Luke Barnfather (Guitars/Synths), Ralph Sayers (Bass) and Matthew Bradley (Drums/Samples) the band formed in late 2008. Based in Leeds, England, the band started out recording a set of lo-fi bedroom demos before eventually embarking on a run of shows across the UK, culminating in a sold out London show at the 100 Club.

The band gained recognition in 2010 with Double A-Side single "The Look" / "Stare to Declare", supported by national and international airplay (BBC 6music / XFM) and a number of BBC1 prime time synchronisations (Waterloo Road).

They retreated back to their home, a studio on a farm in North Yorkshire, spending most of 2011 recording a string of singles with producers James Kenosha and Lee Smith (Middleman / Mi Mye) and playing a few sporadic live shows.

"Huh Her" / "Please Please" is the first release from these sessions and marks the start of a run releases that should make 2012 a busy year for the band.

The band have created a strong live following playing shows alongside (The Boxer Rebellion / Visions of Trees / Polarsets / Masters in France / The Delays / Acoustic Ladyland / ANR / Bang Bang Eche / iLiketrains )

The video to Huh Her was directed and edited by Craig Goode and Andy Little at b-side.