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Fusing classic British guitar pop with Motown and Stax grooves..the missing link between the Arctic Monkeys and the golden age of doo-wop – The Guardian
The world is theirs for the seducing – Evening Standard
A talent for ska-inflected, hook-filled rock ¬– Sunday Times hottest download
Various Cruelties is the musical alias of the prodigiously talented Liam O’Donnell – a teenage Strokes fan with a sweetly soulful voice and a head full of classic soul standards, equally in thrall to the ‘New York cool’ of Richard Hell, Percy Sledge and Orange Juice.
Born in London to a Scottish father and an Irish mother, and a distant relative of Oscar Wilde, O’Donnell moved to Leeds at an early age where he spent his teenage years following the well-trodden ‘indie’ path - summer bank holidays at the Leeds festival and a record collection full of Verve and Stone Roses albums. Yet and early taste for the soul-classics made him realise musically there existed a world beyond.
Moving to London, it proved a struggle to escape the the ‘singer-songwriter’ tag. A booking at a Communion night in Brighton proved to be a turning point – realising he had no desire to tread the well-worn ‘troubadour’ path and inspired by recently supporting the Villagers, Liam decided to do what he wanted; ditch performing under his own name and, inspired by an Ed Ruscha exhibition, start working under the Various Cruelties tag.