Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Heartbreaks, The Deaf Institute, 9th April 2011

Lancastrian duo The Lovely Eggs kicked off tonight's gig at Manchester's Deaf Institute, with the not so lovely named but fantastically fun song 'People Are Twats', followed up by 'I Like Birds But I Like Other Animals Too', a two minute shoutfest filled with crashing cymbals and scratchy guitars. Drawing attention from the crowd with their surreal lyrics and a Vaselines inspired sound, singer and guitarist Holly and drummer David continued with their single 'Don't Look At Me, I Don't Like It', instructing people to "look at him with his sausage roll thumb!". Finishing the set with 'Digital Accordion' they left the stage, leaving smiles on the faces of the crowd.

As the venue began to fill to it's maximum capacity, the second support act Mabel Love took to the stage. Opening with 'Ha Ha People' and following with 'Hardened Face', the Sheffield four-piece impressed the crowd with the combination of Dave Mitchell's fast-paced drumming, George Moran's hard hitting bass along with Dan Whitehouse's sweet-sounding guitar and Richard Rice's euphonious vocals. The song 'Socks' seemed to be the most favoured song tonight - one which is available to download for free from their website - followed up by 'Breaking It All' a "slightly political", slightly heavier song compared to their others. After playing a new song entitled 'Bootstraps' they finished up with 'Gardenstown' they left an extremely good impression on the Manchester audience in preparation for their Arctic Monkeys support slot in the summer.

Finally, complete with a projection filled with shots of their hometown Morecambe in the background and an avid atmosphere charging The Deaf Institute, The Heartbreaks graced the stage and introduced new material going by the name of 'Winter Gardens' - a song which delivered the classic repetitive lyrics and crisp sound which the four are so loved for. Speeding their way through the set they played 'Delay', as well as 'Save Your Souls' with singer Matthew questioning "what are you doing so intoxicated?" as guitarist Ryan and bassist Deaks span around the small stage. As well as playing their debut single 'Liar, My Dear' they showcased yet more new material; 'Man Overboard' and 'Gorgeous', leaving the audience eager to hear more and in high anticipation for their upcoming debut album. As they played their final songs for the night - their newest single, 'Jealous, Don't You Know' and the equally wordy titled 'I Didn't Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You' - it was clear that The Heartbreaks aren't just another generic "Manchester indie band" as the crowd sang along to drummer Joseph Kondras' poetically genius lyrics, but a band who are destined for all kinds of success.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Carl Barat, Manchester Academy 2, 6th April 2011

The opening band tonight were Foreign Office, a four-piece band from Hackney. Starting with 'Shame', they raced through their 6 song set of quirky "Franz Ferdinand meets Hot Chip" tunes, including 'On Repeat' - their infectious debut single which delivers funky guitar and bass lines along with repetitive, catchy lyrics. With traces of an influence by bands such as Talking Heads and Orange Juice, they continued with the paranoia-inspired 'Leaving The House', and finished with 'Losing The Plot'. Clearly leaving a lasting impression on the crowd, could Foreign Office be ones to watch in 2011?

Accompanied by his backing band, Carl Barat took to the stage soon afterwards, going straight into The Magus and following this up with a high energy performance of Run With The Boys. It was clear a number of people were only there to hear Libertines material so Barat added to the set a number of Libs classics, such as Man Who Would Be King and Up The Bracket, along with his solo material - in particular Je Regrette, Je Regrette, inspiring an impromptu sing along. He finished with the Dirty Pretty Things hit, Bang Bang You're Dead, before returning with his acoustic guitar to do an encore half the length of the main set, and after many a heckle for more Libertines material, he joined in with the crowd's yells of an a capella version of What Katie Did. Although the inclusion of yet more Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things tracks pleased tonight's gathering at the Academy no end, Carl should perhaps try to realise his solo work is strong enough to be performed without the large number of back catalogue hits he played this evening. Barat ended tonight with Don't Look Back Into The Sun to the obvious delight of all.

Foreign Office on MySpace
Carl Barat official