Category Archives: Gig Reviews

Pumarosa Live Review – Manchester, Soup Kitchen 19/04/2017

Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of indie bands succumbing to the cliché cycle of intense hype, endless tours and ultimately an average debut album. This archetype leads to inevitable fatigue and, before we know it, the destined ‘saviours’ of guitar music are gone and now work in your local Asda.

One band who haven’t conformed to this stereotypical nature of today’s indie psyche is Pumarosa. From their sprawling 7 minute saxophone harnessed debut Priestess, to their limited live dates and material, Pumarosa have seized control of their own path and it has resulted in them becoming one of the UK’s most intriguing and sonically interesting guitar bands.

Their debut record The Witch is set for a May 19th release and, in turn, Pumarosa embarked on a short tour in showcase of said album. With the already popular tracks Honey and Dragonfly in their arsenal, would their upcoming material match up with what fans have come to expect from them? And, more importantly, will Pumarosa be able to summon the magic that they first conjured up when they arrived in 2015?

As each individual member made their way onto the stage, the London outfit filled the room with a illuminated krautrock rhythm. Transforming into Dragonfly, Pumarosa’s musical prowess outstretched and infected every corner of the room. Culminating with a all-consuming wall of sound, Pumarosa were here to make a statement.

Cecile and Honey followed, with the former exploding with a brooding saxophone solo from Tomoya Suzuki during it’s climax. However, it’s Lion’s Den that takes the limelight early on in the set. One of band’s unreleased tracks off of their album, Lion’s Den sees Pumarosa at their darkest. Starting with haunting piano keys and ghostly vocals, this eerie track becomes draped in chilling guitars that begin to wail and moan. All this darkness and gloom results in a finale that has the sonic vigor of a doomgaze band.

As for other new music, The Witch sees frontwoman Isabel Munoz-Newsome hanging like a puppet on a string as she looks on to the crowd glassy-eyed. This is then juxtaposed later on in the set when she is prowling around the stage with passion similar to that of Jenny Beth of Savages. An intoxicating leader, Munoz-Newsome’s zeal grips the crowd and refuses to let go.

Elsewhere, other offerings from The Witch range from Warpaint-esque spacey atmospheres to an anthemic set closer that is guided by a wonky feverish beat. However, it’s Priestess that truly owns the night. Cascading into a flurry of tropical beats, akin to that of Jagwar Ma, this tribal ritual has an almost Madchester feel to it. Spell-binding, spiritual and stunning, Priestess still sounds as fresh as it did 2 years ago and maybe even better.

To put it bluntly, Pumarosa are a special band. Uncompromising and bursting with ideas and creativity, tonight showed that Pumarosa have crafted a wonderful debut. Masterful in their live execution, this album release will surely spark their immediate rise and there is nobody who deserves it more.

Liam Egan

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Wild Nothing Live Review – Manchester, The Deaf Institute 26/02/2017

Since arriving in the summer of 2009, Jack Tatum’s Wild Nothing is one of the few C86 style projects of recent years to not play themselves into obscurity. Whilst others grew tiresome or just simply ended, Tatum continued to explore what was possible for his project. With his latest release (2016’s Life Of Pause) adding more and more ingredients to the mix, Wild Nothing has become an outlet for some of the best synth guided jangle pop around.

Currently nearing the end of some of their biggest live shows to date, Wild Nothing have been supporting Kings Of Leon on their arena tour. But all that doesn’t matter now as they’re headlining a sold out show at Manchester’s Deaf Institute. As Tatum and his live band make their way to the stage, they’re met with a rapturous applause. Tatum, cladded in all denim and a black beanie, looks shy as he picks up his guitar. However, this was all this was about to change.

Beginning with the title track of his 2012 release Nocturne, Wild Nothing come to life within an instant. Immersing the room with simmering guitars and lavish synths, Jack Tatum and his live band replicate the track with pinpoint precision. Other tracks from this LP, such as Only Heather, Shadow and Disappear Always, follow suite and really show off how intricately crafted Tatum’s work is.

The real gem however is Paradise. A soothing and pulsating ode to the 1980s, Paradise is above and beyond anything else Tatum has recorded. Nostalgic, emotive and utterly gorgeous, it was as if everyone on the venue was being soundtracked to their very own 80s movie.

Other material came from Wild Nothing’s latest record. The piano led Adore is one the set’s biggest surprises, which culminates in a drippy and psychedelic finale. Other Life Of Pause tracks comes in the form of Lady Blue, Alien and Japanese Alice. Much like everything else tonight, Tatum and co manage to reproduce these tracks to the point where these could have easily been the versions you listened to on your iPod earlier today.

The title track of Life Of Pause also makes an appearance, and what an appearance this is. With bursting melodic synths that envelop the room, Life Of Pause is a masterclass in modern synth pop.

Towards the final third of the set, Tatum treats fans to cuts from their lost indie adolescence. Live In Dreams and Gemini still sound as youthful as they did in 2010 and fit perfectly alongside the rest of Tatum’s ever growing discography. Even the band members must have felt like they’d been transported back 7 years, all with massive grins on their faces as they played these carefree tracks. However it’s Summer Holiday that really gets the nostalgia flowing. The song of many teen relationships in 2009, Summer Holiday re-captures the hearts of those in the audience who fell in love to this song.

Ending the night on To Know You, this mixture of krautrock-esque drone synth pop demonstrates how far Tatum has come from his C86 bedroom days. Juxtaposed against the material off of Gemini, To Know You closes off a near perfect night.

Whilst Jack Tatum might not get the same universal recognition of other one man projects such as Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala and Mac DeMarco, this doesn’t tarnish the fact that he’s an unbelievable talent. Achieving what many would struggle with, Wild Nothing are one of the tightest musical outfits you can see live right now.

Liam Egan

Strange Waves 2016 Review

What do you get when you mix various musicians, a hand full of DJs, sweltering heat and enough beer to kill a large heard of cows? Well Strange Waves of course! The lovechild of Manchester promoters Strange Days and Now Wave, this new metropolitan festival promised punters the best in up-and-coming music. Topped by psych-garage rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Strange Waves certainly had all the right ingredients. But should it become an annual staple in Manchester’s music calendar? We at Nothing Left Unsaid decided to head down and see what all the buzz was about.

Beginning the night was Manchester’s very own Charlotte Cannon, who was opening up The Ritz’s basement stage. Up in the main ballroom, Methyl Ethel’s spaced out dream pop was filling the air with infectious precision. Almost channelling shoegaze at points, Methyl Ethel’s set was powerful and spiritual.

Back down at the basement stage was London punk outfit Shame. Praised by the likes of Loud & Quiet and NME, Shame have already been making quite a name for themselves. Beginning on Tasteless, Shame erupt with energy and uncontrollable power. As frontman Charlie Steen howls like Ellery James Roberts of LUH and WU LYF fame, he slaps his face like a man hell bent on his own destruction. Climbing up speaker stacks and making his way into the crowd, Steen is one of the most fascinating and primal frontmen around at the moment. The spoken word The Lick is unforgettable as Steen rolls off line after line, with the rest of the band clanging away and enveloping the crowd in their menacing sound.

strange-waves-scandals8-3Photo by Saesha Blue Ward, https://www.instagram.com/saeshablue/

Described as a “love song of sorts” by Steen, Shame proceeded to play a track about everyone’s favourite lady. “Theresa May, won’t you let me stay, just for one more day” is sung around the basement, whilst everyone sways their arms to the sound of post-Brexit blues. With Steen finishing the set shirtless, and donning a rainbow coloured feather boa and sunglasses, Shame end as they started. Visceral and engaging, Shame aren’t just a success for Strange Waves but also for UK music.

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Photo by Saesha Blue Ward, https://www.instagram.com/saeshablue/

The Big Moon followed Methyl Ethel in the main ballroom, playing fan favourites Cupid and Silent Movie Susie. Meanwhile Madrid heroes The Parrots were closing the basement with unprecedented chaos. Tracks such as Let’s Do It Again and No me gustas, te quiero had fans crowd-surfing and absolutely losing themselves in the moment.

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Photo by Saesha Blue Ward, https://www.instagram.com/saeshablue/

Headliners King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard were up next, and what a performance they gave. Starting on Nonagon Infinity’s Robot Stop, King Gizzard played over half of the album without stopping. After a blistering twenty-five minutes, which saw the 7-piece play Robot Stop, Big Fig Wasp, Gamma Knife, People-Vultures and Mr Beat, King Gizzard announced that they’d be playing some new tracks. Going by the names The Balrog, Lord of Lightening and Crumbling Castle, these tracks are sure to turn up on the band’s inevitable 2nd 2016 release.

The collective I’m In Your Mind, I’m Not In Your Mind and Cellophane came along and melted the brains of everyone in The Ritz. Invoking mass hysteria, the audience was a sea of flailing limbs and manic screams. King Gizzard were causing utmost carnage and it was spectacular. Even Trap Door from their acoustic album Paper Mâché Dream Balloon had everyone goggle-eyed and insane.

Ending on the rest of Nonagon Infinity, with Quarters!River thrown in for good measure, King Gizzard showcased why they are considered one of the industry’s most hard working bands. Not only do they have a prolific output of material, but they also back it up with an incredible live show. They’re truly remarkable.

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Photo by Saesha Blue Ward, https://www.instagram.com/saeshablue/

Ending the whole night was everyone’s favourite surf-rockers, The Wytches. Showcasing tracks off of their upcoming album, All Your Happy Life (released 30th September), Kristian Bell & co didn’t hold back. The new material sees the band at the heaviest they’ve ever been, with the recent addition of new fourth member Mark Breed certainly adding another dynamic to the group. Even older tracks such as Digsaw and Wide At Midnight have received the more heavier treatment, giving them a new lease of life. Twisted, wicked and downright amazing, The Wytches proved once again that they are a formidable live act.

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Photo by Saesha Blue Ward, https://www.instagram.com/saeshablue/

So was the Strange Waves a success? In short, yes. It’s a night to celebrate the work that Strange Days and Now Wave do for the city. Week after week, they both bring in the best names in music to Manchester. Without them, Manchester’s music scene wouldn’t be the same. So here’s to another year of amazing gigs and Strange Waves 2017.

Liam Egan

The Arbourdecks Live Review – Manchester, Castle Hotel 28/03/2015

After the release of their debut single Weekend, The Arbourdecks were set to headline the Castle Hotel for the single launch of said single. In the small sweaty back room of the Castle, The Arbourdecks were about to showcase why you all should be listening to them.

Starting their set with the single that they came to promote and release, Weekend is a youthful and energetic track that isn’t afraid of what it is. Transferring brilliantly from the studio to live, Weekend is one hell of a tune that shows 4 minute indie rock and roll tunes are not dead and can still be brilliant.

The Arbourdecks then went into the single worthy Tripping. Boasting with the attitude of Oasis and The Stone Roses, the guitars on this track controlled the stage with their baggy wah-wahs. With killer bass work from Jack Clynes and gruff vocals from frontman Dan Auerbach, this track not only impressive live but also The Arbourdecks best track.

Next up from The Arbourdecks was Letting Down Your Guard. This was a much slower affair with powerful pleading vocals that fused Liam Gallagher and Morrissey together to create the ultimate Manc vocal. This ballad fed straight into Going Under, which exploded in a fierce uncontrollable fashion after a intense drum roll from Louis Ellis. The guitars from Taylor Finney were menacing as he was able to show how truly talented he is on lead guitar. Louis towards the end was just smashing his kit with such frenzied power. This is a type of track that would run away with your daughter if you gave it half a chance.

Any Other Way was a Libertine-esque riot that could easily have slipped into The Courteeners debut St. Jude or even The Inbetweeners soundtrack back in the day. With a sing-o-long chorus and brilliant chemistry, this track would even make Pete Doherty and Carl Barât proud.

To conclude the set was the 8 minute long Line Of Sight. Building from the offset, the band enter a drum solo which ends in a flurry of guitars that fill the room. With a much bigger crowd and dedicated fans, this track would be insane live. With Dan and Jack shouting ‘Go’ in unison, Line Of Sight goes into a Red Hot Chilli Peppers style finish. With a manic guitar solo from Taylor, this track is begging to played in a packed sweaty room. As you think the track is over, it has a new lease of life where everyone just jams as much as they can and it brings the whole night to a much deserved grand finale.

You can head over to The Arbourdecks’ Soundcloud now and download their single Weekend for free.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheArbourdecks?fref=ts

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TheArbourdecks

Liam Egan

Peace Live Review – Manchester, The Deaf Institute 14/03/2015

In the third and final night of Peace’s Manchester residency at The Deaf Institute, there was a euphoric vibe in the air. From the hardcore die-hard fans to the Happy People newbies, everyone was writhing with anticipation. But before Peace could bring the inevitable chaos, Manchester band Flesh had to take to the stage. With snarling Liam Gallagher-esque vocals and the bagginess of The Stone Roses, Flesh belted out a 30 minute set that emitted attitude and confidence. Tracks like Vauxhall Casanova fed off their Manchester roots, whilst other tracks like Dead Lonely captured the power of the New York garage rock scene. Dynamic, infectious and oh so Manc, Flesh are certainly a band that you should all be keeping your eye (or ears) out for.

The time of Peace was now upon us. Before even the band played a note, the crowd was shifting around the tightly packed venue of 260 adoring fans. Kicking off with one of their newer tracks Gen Strange, fans jump around like it’s the last gig of their lives. Singing every lyric, this gig was a celebration of Peace’s brilliance. From there Peace smashed into Follow Baby, who’s grungy britpop vibes echoed within the old walls of the beautiful venue. Friends and complete strangers were turning to each other and singing every lyric in unison. Other tracks from the bands debut In Love; Wraith, Higher Than The Sun and Lovesick, got the same reaction as the fans just went feral. Crowdsurfers and moshpits galore, these tracks still sound as fresh as they did when they were released two years ago. Peace as a band may have shifted slightly sonically in terms of new material but their live shows still remain the same anarchic disorder that they’ve always been.

Last year releases Money and Lost On Me make appearances within the set and sound like they’ve been part of the bands discography for years. Money’s cutting hook causes everyone to flop around like a school of fish out of water, whilst the poppiness of Lost On Me causes a dance off amongst fans.

However the night wasn’t just full of sweaty teenagers throwing their bodies around, there was also moments of calmness and reflection. The heartbreaking ballad Someday was played halfway through, resulting in a mass singalong. Being one the stand out moments of the band’s latest album, Someday transferred perfectly live as Harrison croons over a lost love. Happy People continues this subdued ambiance as Harrison contemplates ‘Where did all the Happy People go?’.

Now it wouldn’t be a proper Peace gig without the inclusion of fan favourite 1998(Delicious) would it? As the first notes from Sam Koisser’s bass play, the crowd erupt with colossal power. The intensity of this 10 minute behemoth results in insane mosh pits and virtually everybody zoning out towards the end as the track embeds itself into everyone’s minds. At one point there was multiple people crying with complete musical emotion from the brilliance that is radiated from this track.

The gig then took an odd turn as Harrison started to sing the Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney collaboration FourFiveSeconds. After completing the first verse, he triumphantly says under his breath ‘Fucking nailed it’. Peace then flowed into California Daze. A track that gained mass media attention when it was released back in 2012, it still manages to book a place in Peace’s live shows. With fans clambering onto their friend’s shoulders in hope to get a split second of eye contact with the band, California Daze managed to create a moment that showed how important this band really are. They aren’t just your run of the mill indie band, they are much more than that. New tracks such as Perfect Skin receive a massive reception from the audience and I’m A Girl perfectly ends the first part of the set of it classic Peace fashion.

With the sound of ‘Manchester la la la’ ringing in everyone’s ears, Peace returned to the stage and began to play an unknown jam. This quickly turned into fan favourite Bloodshake. Fans lost their shit as guitarist Doug played instantly recognisable yet infectious guitar riff. Ending on a flurry of psychedelic guitars that resulted in the most riotous mosh pit of the night since 1998(Delicious), Bloodshake shows that it’s still one of Peace’s best despite it’s age.

Harrison then addressed the crowd for what track they should play next. From requests of Disclosure’s White Noise to Wonderwall, the track that caught the band’s ear was one of their earlier tracks Ocean’s Eye. ‘We haven’t played this track in over two years, so if you know it then you’ve been with us for a while’ says Harrison as the band work out how to start the track. Peace burst straight into it and deliver on every level. The rawness and the youthfulness of the track was awe-inspiring, it was a complete ode to us fans who’ve supported them since before EP Delicious.

Harrison again asked the crowd for suggestions and one track that everyone seemed to want was Drain. Before starting they let the crowd know that they weren’t confident that they knew it all but they’d give it their best shot. Halfway through, Harrison passed the microphone to a member of the audience who sand every word. Said fan was the then invited on stage to finish the track off.

The band let the fan stay on stage for Float Forever, where he had Librertine-esque chemistry with Harrison. Swaying away to the bliss sounds of the guitars, this was a moment he’ll no doubt cherish forever. After a stage dive from the fan, Peace geared up to finish on World Pleasure. The heavily influenced track helped show off the band’s musical maturity. From bass solos to a Stone Roses styled finish, this helped Peace display their full talent. Fans invaded the stage throughout, resulting in security having to take action. This didn’t deter anyone and the set ended in explosive psychedelic finale.

I’ve been to see Peace live many times, this being my seventh, and I can honestly say they are getting better and better. They know their strengths and they focus on them.There isn’t many live shows out there like it. The vast amount energy and crowd unity made me proud to say that I’m a Peace fan.

Liam Egan

Tame Impala Live Review – Manchester Albert Hall 12/07/2014

 

As we all waited in the dank clammy heat of the Albert Hall, you could tell there was lots of anticipation for this gig. The sold out church setting was the perfect venue for Tame Impala and the atmosphere in the room was electric. Around me people were bopping with excitement and one girl squealed from a sudden rush of thrill. Also the variety of accents was really surprising. From Ireland to Somerset then way back up to Liverpool, it was evident that people had travelled from all over to get here tonight.

The support came from Australian solo artist D.D Dumbo. This was his second ever UK show and I can see why he was a big hit at SXSW. His short set was only preformed by himself and consisted of him using multiple instruments and a loop pedal. There is no doubt that his fusion of blues and folk will become really popular in the next couple of months and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some more UK dates cropping up in the near future.

After a sweaty 40 minute wait, Tame Impala walked on stage to a slow down version of Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ with bubble guns that they fired into the crowd. From there Tame Impala preformed a spellbinding 17 song long set that included tracks from both of their albums and a track they introduced as a “new jam that we’ve been working on, it’s an instrumental so just dance”.

If I could summarise what the set was like in a phrase then it would be that it was like we entered Kevin Parker’s mind and he took us on a guided tour. From the extended jams and trippy patterns on the backdrop, Tame Impala captured the crowd completely and showed off how talented they all actually are as musicians.

It’s hard to pick any highlights from the gig as every moment was so faultless. It Is Not Meant To Be prompted a mass sing along as it swirled around the room whilst Elephant resulted in multiple crowdsurfers as everyone bounced around like irrational maniacs.

 

Half Full Glass Of Wine was Tame’s oldest track to appear on the set and, despite having a slightly different sound to the rest of the songs that they played, it fitted in perfectly. The 60s inspired riff reverberated throughout the venue and gave the gig a real blues-esque vibe to it.

 

Just before Tame Impala left the stage for the first time they played Apocalypse Dreams. The second half of the track was magical. The synths were euphoric and full of colour as they spiralled out of control. This went on for what seemed like a lifetime and it was perfection.

 

Tame then returned for a three song encore that consisted of Auto Prog III, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control. These continued the brilliance that they had already displayed to us throughout the gig and finished off the night perfectly.

This wasn’t just a normal gig, it was a showcase of Kevin Parker’s enormous talent. He’s a true musician who takes so much pride in what he’s doing. If you ever get a chance to go and see Tame Impala play live then I totally recommend that you do because it’s such a surreal experience.

Setlist below

Be Above It, Solitude Is Bliss, Sestri Levante, Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?, It Is Not Meant to Be, Why Won’t They Talk to Me?, Elephant, Endors Toi, Oscilly, Mind Mischief, Half Full Glass of Wine, New Jam, Alter Ego, Apocalypse Dreams

Encore:

Auto-Prog III, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards, Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control

Liam Egan