15th February 2018

Live review: The Front Bottoms

The Front Bottoms entwined the exploration and lyricism of folk music with the fast-paced assertiveness of punk
Live review: The Front Bottoms
Photo: Hana Kelly @ The Mancunion

The Front Bottoms are back and with a slightly evolved sound but the same perfectly laid back attitude. Going Grey was released in October, with their tour commencing on the 9th of February in Manchester, a gig that was described by members of the crowd as “sick as fuck” and “emotionally unforgettable”.

The crowd were lively and expressive, constantly moving and sending many fans in crowd surfs over the audience. However, mosh pits and surges in the crowd also occurred in the slower, lyrical songs.

The band kept their set list fresh, mixing in their bigger hits with their new album as well as some surprising fan favourites including ‘Twelve Feet Deep’, a song that created so much noise and movement that the Albert Hall’s famous floor began to bounce. The newer songs released on Going Grey make a slight change away from the heavy guitars of indie rock to a more synthesised indie pop; the charming and chatty lyrics keep The Front Bottoms relevant and relatable.

Brian Sella’s voice is impressively distinctive and fresh, sounding just as quirky and memorable on stage as it is in the albums, a feature that is missed in today’s society of auto-tune and editing. The band in entirety are, of course, incredibly talented with an addition of an extra musician who was playing violin, trumpet and any other instruments required.

Sella created a relaxed and friendly relationship with the audience, telling us how much he loved playing in Manchester and asking where was best in the city to go for afters. The Front Bottoms are not new to the city, having played their way up through venues for years, from Sound Control a few years back (R.I.P.) to the O2 Ritz last year.

The atmosphere was excitable and only egged on by the sketched naked man and woman who adorned the backdrop of the band for the first few songs. This then dropped to show the band’s logo which was a thrilling addition to show. These were fronted by large screens showing simple videos that explored the themes of each song and created electrifying light shows.

There are stories being told by The Front Bottoms that deserve a listen. They entwine the exploration and lyricism of folk music with the fast-paced assertiveness of punk, and it would be well worth a ‘Far Drive’ to hear them.

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