Splashh fail to make waves but perform an enjoyable set.
After a momentum building tour this year, Splashh finally released their first full length album Comfort in September, to mainly gushing reviews. Their current European tour, with Charlie ‘boring’ Boyer and the Voyeurs, seeks to ride its vaguely surfy waves, and their third date sees them here in Manchester before jetting off to sunnier climes in Italy.
Given their limited back catalogue, the set entails playing a slightly edited version of the new album, alongside one other song. All drenched in reverb and psychedelic projections, the band perform through floppy hair and Madchester tones. The Stone Roses influence is clear, as is the Pixies. The surprising influence of Joy Division can be heard on several basslines, especially on ‘Lemonade’, much more so when played live and the sounds from each instrument are more clearly delineated.
The reverb on vocals is present on every song, often feeling misplaced on slower tracks such as ‘Lost Your Cool’, papering over a song which might not have worked otherwise with distractions. With a lack of material to draw on, Splashh extend their final song, ‘Need It’, with wails and distortion. This departure from the album track gave the music a chance to breathe, a little creativity, and a spark of interest. This marked the only really engaging part of a set otherwise enjoyable enough but largely forgettable.
Aside from some louche lads near the mixing desk, the crowd was oddly static, maybe because it’s hard to get drunk given the ‘tenner for two drinks’ policy. This fostered a general ambivalence to the whole show, and the audience only really started moving when it was time to go out for a ciggie afterwards.