Friday, 13 May 2011

live review: Liar Liar, Club Smith, City Reign, Secret Pilot, Grounds @ Manchester Roadhouse, 7th May 2011

The Roadhouse is a tiny basement venue in Manchester which has previously hosted such legends as Muse, Coldplay and Blink 182 onto their stage. Tonight the venue welcomes five bands; Grounds, Secret Pilot, City Reign, Club Smith and headliners Liar Liar.

First to take to the stage tonight were Grounds, a four piece band from Manchester, delivering an amalgamation of a 90's grunge-crossed-with-Britpop inspired music. Showing a clear influence from bands such as Oasis and James, they went down well with the crowd who seemed altogether impressed with their sound.

Another Manchester band called Secret Pilot were on next. A set full of infectious guitars and strong vocals from frontman Ali Harrison, they played songs from their EP 'Punching Underwater', beginning with 'The Tide' - a song which holds sounds incredibly similar to early Kings Of Leon. They continued with 'Fight For Me' and followed this with stand-out track 'The Institute'. They then finished their set by asking the crowd to take part in the filming of their new video for the song 'Punching Underwater'; a three-minute anthem brimming with striking lyrics as well as a livelier sound. After they thanked the audience for helping with their video, they left the stage leaving everybody wanting more.

The third out of five bands to play tonight were City Reign, a foursome based in Manchester. Opening the set with 'See What It's Worth' they then followed this 'Out In The Cold'; their second single which was released in January. Vocally they could be compared to Idlewild or Oasis which really showed as they played 'Making Plans', and throughout their set it was obvious as to why Steve Lamacq named them as one of his favourite new bands as part of In The City festival 2010. They closed the set with their third single 'Daybreak' - a four minute song filled with emotional vocals and memorable lyrics - and and finally a heartfelt rendition of 'The Line'. Tonight City Reign have made it clear that everybody should keep an eye on them as they are surely set to do well.

Club Smith have only recently returned from a tour alongside The Pigeon Detectives and tonight they show the reasons behind the hype they have received over the past few months. The electro-indie four piece opened with 'Institution' and then played 'Young Defeatists'; one half of their double A-side single set to be released on the 6th June. There seemed to be more energy during Club Smith's set compared to previous bands and this was clear as they played various tracks from EP's - 'The Loss' and 'The Process' - such as 'Connected' and the energetic 'Lament'. The Yorkshire boys finished their set with the other half of their debut single,  the stand out 'No Friend Of Mine'; a perfect pop song which is most definitely to be huge after its release.

Finally the headliners, Morecambe based Liar Liar took to the stage. As the lights went out and the only thing to illuminate the stage was a set of fairy lights draped onto singer David Murdoch's microphone stand, the band went straight into 'It's Only Love' and continued with 'Unwanted'. After highlight song 'A Little Romance' they played a new track, which involved guitarist Charlie Kondras playing keyboard for what he said was "the second time I've ever done that". 'Sorry' was filled with impassioned vocals and 'Why Don't You Love Me Anymore?' confirmed that they have the potential to become one of the next big bands around at the moment. Their set ended with 'Seaside Girl' - their next single set to be released in September - a song with a memorable drum beat provided by Liam Maxwell and a dancey bassline from Charlotte Bell. Watch out for Liar Liar - they are sure to find all kinds of success in the future. 


  1. Hey Liar Liar wish you the best my nephew is Liam Maxwell :)

  2. Club Smith from York great band with great prospect over next year or so!