4 ½ stars
Salford is in the grips of a crisis. If it wasn’t already bad enough with the arrival of all those London types at Media City, clogging up the roads of the North West with their Ocado deliveries and pushing up the price of previously unaffordable quay-side housing to new unaffordable levels, Salford has a new threat to deal with. Hipsters.
Tonight, Islington Mill is teeming with oversize backpacks, vintage clothing and, worst of all, Hollyoaks cast members. A lone gunman’s dream you might say, but with a free bar courtesy of Dr. Martens who are filming an advert here, my feelings towards the demographic around me are ambivalent at best and I settle down to a pint. The night wears on, the air’s thick with ‘yah’s and ‘for sure’s and eventually the filming, and free drink, comes to an end, resulting in an exodus of people from the Mill and a half empty room for Breton to play to. More fool those who left.
Half laptop experimentation, half guitar band, Breton sound like the lovechild of Tom Vek and Foals. With angular rhythms and a whole palette of fresh and exciting sounds, they deliver a set full diversity and packed with plenty of up-tempo tunes to boot. ‘Sandpaper’ is filled to the brim with dirty synth sounds and restrained vocals, while ‘15x’ is insanely danceable with a coolly delivered drumbeat propelling the song along. Even in their more downbeat, reflective moments such as ‘The Well’, Breton still manage to engage your attention and feet, the set never once dropping off or flat lining.
For the few who stayed at Islington mill, a real treat was had tonight, getting the chance to see a band up close that is on the rise and for whom the big time is calling.
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