ALBUM: Sandra’s Wedding – ‘Northern Powerhouse’

With their charming debut album ‘Northern Powerhouse’, Yorkshire’s Sandra’s Wedding brilliantly characterize life outside a metropolitan city in modern Britain.

Opening with the cinematic ‘This Heart’, the four-piece quickly display their ear for a melody with an unashamedly pop chorus.

Joe Hodgson’s dramatic, powerful vocals are a theme throughout, while the frontman also shows a penchant for a brilliant turn of phrase; “Love is knowing when to shut the fuck up” a particular standout on ‘Hollywood’.

‘Talk of Love’ continues the theatre and the opening obsession with love, with Jonny Hughes’ guitar perfecting namesake Marr’s trick of catching your attention without trying too hard to do so.

Released on Valentine’s Day, Sandra’s Wedding have developed a fittingly romantic sound, despite tackling often bleak subjects such as austerity, unemployment and heartache, topics which can blight life in the former mining and shipping towns which the band members hail from.

“It would seem disingenuous to sing about sun and sea when you live in a small town in the North of England,” Hughes recently told the Pontefract and Castleford Express, “so we try and write songs about things that people around these parts can relate to and identify with.”

The subject matter may be heavy, but the themes are tackled with no little enthusiasm, wit and variety.

‘No Wonder’ has a stomping, funky disco quality, while ‘The Ugly, The Bad & The Good’ sounds suitably like it soundtracks a spaghetti western film set in Yorkshire.

Another major part of the charm are the Jarvis Cocker-esque references to what might be described as the mundane or at least the minutiae of working class life in the north of England: Package holidays (‘The Spark’), Stars In Their Eyes (‘Tonight, Matthew’) and Leeds United legend Billy Bremner (‘Death By Hanging’ – another highlight).

Having already caught the attention of Norther Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy – who expressed his admiration of the album on Facebook – Sandra’s Wedding are certainly worthy of wider acclaim.

Listen to the album below via Spotify or buy the CD at

Rob Conlon

Rob Conlon

Freelance journalist. Record collector. Yorkshireman. Order subject to change. "You've got good taste, even if you are from fucking Leeds" - Richard Hawley