Neighbourhood returned to Manchester, taking over 12 venues across the city and showcasing new talent
Blossoms ft. RNCM ensemble @ MMU Union — 9/10
Tom Ogden and Charlie Salt blessed the Opening Party with a beautifully intimate and understated set, accompanied by the RNCM ensemble. A cacophony of harp strings, brass and strings added new elements to Blossoms’ finest hits, re-imagining the tracks to sound fresh after a year of touring the debut album. Tom held the crowd in the palm of his hand, his mellow charm on form as per usual, vocals flawlessly edgy as at every gig. Heartwarming, wintery b-side ‘For Evelyn’ was welcomed with surprise, its elegant melancholy mirroring the Manchester weather battering the outside. A treat came with the finale in the form of Tom and Charlie’s karaoke tune, a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’. The ensuing singalong in the Mancunian venue proved a fitting conclusion to Blossoms’ huge year, as their synthy-heartbreaker melodies have clearly captured an adoring fan base.
Peace @ Albert Hall — 9/10
Familiar, organised, indie chaos filled the famous hall as Harry Koisser sauntered on, adorned with retro specs and a military jacket. The crowd were fully on board despite the daylight streaming through the windows. An eclectic set list which featured both albums and ‘1998 Delicious’ triggered a tumultuous reaction of mosh pits and singalongs, while Harry’s flawless vocals were met with gasps of amazement. Energy rippled and spines tingled as Peace put on a show and a half, proving they may have been away, but they have much more to give.
The Vryll Society @ Sound Control Basement — 10/10
“If you’ve taken anything, you’re about to get your money’s worth right about now” promised Vryll Society frontman, Mike Ellis. What followed was a psychedelic party… imagine upbeat Tame Impala with a front man’s dance moves that make Ian Brown look serene. Intros and outros dominated, saturating the basement of Sound Control, whilst intimate lighting suited the occasion as the band became silhouettes, bringing vibes of a 60s nature into the room. Their songs are niche, and it’s exciting to see bands still making music of this fashion today.
The Old Pink House @ Revolution — 7/10
This up and coming band brought energy and a good effort to Revs, with storming passion which, at times, uplifted run-of-the-mill songs and elevated instrumentals to a higher level. It was a decent attempt at a powerful indie impact, the last song in particular providing some variation in synth and regular structure. The band clearly displayed musical prowess and dedication to putting on a visceral live show, though it would stand them in better stead to find their own niche if they are to break through the rising talents of rivals. They were entertaining — credit where credit is due — but to make a lasting impact they need to stamp a POS on that impressive energy.