Pyre Climber and SNAKE OIL present: Mantle Pieces @ Assembly House, Leeds


All photos by Kirsty Garland

Leeds actively indulges in a trend of bringing art forms to unlikely places. Assembly House in Armley is just that: an unlikely home and pitching ground to a variety of creative minds. Pulling up to the seemingly abandoned old textiles mill, the only indication of the artistic revelry hiding inside is the group of alternative folk taking a break outside.  In a scene full of young collectives making their impression on the city, this event shines out as a true representative of the incredible talent within Leeds.

The exhibition ‘Mantle Pieces’, is the love child of Pyre Climber (doomed threads/Art collective) and SNAKE OIL, the self confessed ‘All-in-one remedy for the visual ailments’.

“Mantle: Thin cloth used as a shroud or cloak.

Pieces: A written, musical, or artistic creation”

20160819_Mantle_Pieces_0172[1]Affordable, ethical and entertaining, this event hit the mark with just about everything and is most definitely enough to satisfy the most salacious of artistic appetites. Entry is free, there is a fully licenced bar and ‘pay as you feel’ delicious vegan grub cooked by Armley Junk-tion. The clothes and patches for sale as you enter are all printed onto ethically sourced material with sustainable ink and the designs are complex and deliciously dark.

Dim, multi-hued lighting and the bare, industrial state of the venue creates an ominous vibe, fitting for the exhibits. It allows the pieces to each be admired as an entity. The mounted work comprises of a mixture of album art, tattoo designs, photography, cross stitch and embroidery – which you can freely wander around, and most of which you can take home for a very reasonable price.

20160819_Mantle_Pieces_0224B&W[1]Kicking off the rest of the night’s entertainment, Galway-based band Overbite begin with some gritty, hardcore, Irish punk which instantly draws in a crowd. They nicely pave the way for Leeds’ own hardcore punk band Hex, taking on just their second gig. Hex’s frontwoman has a sublime set of vocal chords on her and screeches some grating, unintelligible lyrics into the mic, holding her own against the aggressive tempo.

Hark, hailing from Swansea headline and undoubtedly steal the show with their heavy, pounding riffs that hold a Sabbath-like essence. They make the space their own as vocalist and guitarist Jimbob Isaac stomps into the crowd and commands every ounce of attention with his growling vocals.

To end the night is TACAT – a female to be reckoned with and a big part of the uprising and recognition of female talent on the dj decks. She takes over to annihilate the crowd. With lashings of bass and perverse, industrial sounds, she hypnotises the audience into a musical ecstasy.

Being their first non-profit event, Pyre Climber and SNAKE OIL have definitely proven themselves. They have birthed an impressive collaboration – a real high for the Leeds Art scene which will hopefully become a regular occurrence.