Party Hardly – “Mindchanger” Review

Party Hardly’s third release throws out indie swagger behind a wall of fuzz guitar and urges you to press replay.

As a local Leeds lad (or elder statesman), I was delighted when Leeds band Party Hardly’s new track “Mindchanger” popped in my inbox to review. So, is Leeds a musical backwater or can the city stand up against it’s Manchester, Sheffield and London rivals?

As the birthplace of Goth with the likes of Sisters Of Mercy, March Violets etc. and pioneers of Post-Punk – Gang Of Four, Delta 5 etc., Leeds was a massive creative force in the 80’s. In the 90’s, the City was at the forefront of the new dance/ rave culture – the Back To Basics night founded by Dave Beer is world renowned. The Kaisers have obviously more recently achieved huge commercial success but don’t be fooled, Leeds, as a musical city, is about to rise again. There is a wealth of young talent springing up in Leeds at the moment, one of the bands at the forefront of the current crop is Party Hardly.

Part Hardly was initially dreamt up in the bedroom of lead singer Tom Barr’s house with the boys Matt, Stan & Lachlan back in early 2016. Since these bedroom beginnings, their style has been refined and cultivated into something truly special. Throughout their early life as Party Hardly they have developed a growing reputation for dreamy sets around the North, supporting the likes of Trudy & The Romance, Mouses, Bruising, Diet Cig, Cowtown, INHEAVEN & The Magic Gang.

The band describe their sound as “ … combining sweet sounding harmonies with woozy pop-fueled catchy guitar riffs

Mindchanger follows their first two singles Friendly Feeling and Jobs. The band describe their sound as “ … combining sweet sounding harmonies with woozy pop-fueled catchy guitar riffs” – I concur. Mindchanger, however, is so much more than that – there’s real Gallagher style swagger in Tom’s vocals over the fuzzy guitar work, a refrain reminiscent of Stereophonics’ Dakota and a great psychedelic interlude before the song hits back again urging you to press replay, as I’ve just done several times whilst writing this. I’m left with an overall feel of the poppier side of Mary Chain, with attitude – well worth a few spins, whatever you’re into.

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

This release precedes a number of Autumn UK dates, which take in London and Manchester, which will no doubt strengthen their growing national following. Party Hardly could well be the first band to really break out from the current crop of Leeds bands.

Party Hardly are …

Tom Barr (vocals, guitar), Lachlan Banner (drums), Matt Pownall (guitar, vocals) and Stanley Braddock (bass, vocals).

Catch the band at:

Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester on Oct 7 with Peace, Jaws, Rat Boy + more

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on Oct 14 with The Wytches, Thee MVP’s, Vulgarians + more

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on Oct 28 with Orielles, Treeboy & Arc

YouTube player





About author View all posts Author website

Graham Geldard

Music first, Photography second, now the two go hand in hand. Travelled the length and breadth of musical genres – 70s glam rock to 77 punk to 80s / 90s mod, post punk, trashy rock ‘n’ roll & metal. Will listen to and shoot anything. Now hooked on the thriving Leeds gig scene – local bands and visiting bands, arenas to toilet venues.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.