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29th March 2023

Live review: milk. – Dublin’s newest export are best served hot!

Dublin four-piece milk. bring their brand of alt-pop to Manchester Academy 3, with support from Gloria
Live review: milk. – Dublin’s newest export are best served hot!
Photo: Lauren Hague @ The Mancunion

Written by Lauren Hague

It’s no secret that Dublin’s music scene is the hottest it’s been in decades. All in the past few weeks, Irish post-punk rockers Fontaines D.C. bagging a Brit for ‘Best International Group’ and Dublin indie band Inhaler fighting it out with pop star P!NK to claim their second UK No.1 album. And now Dublin newcomers milk. are making noise on the scene.

In conversation with milk., following on from their gig at Manchester Academy 3, they described Dublin’s fresh music scene as feeling like “being part of a community.” Frontman Mark Mckenna went on to say, “it doesn’t feel competitive, everyone supports each other” and described the band’s ultimate aspiration as to “continue to make the tunes we like making.” Guitarist Conor Gorman followed on donning artists Bon Iver and Porches as the musicians they are currently loving the most.

Whilst milk.’s focuses appear to remain on the creation of their music it became clear, from the audience gathered in Manchester’s Academy 3, that they’re drawing the attention of one of the most key components to success with any upcoming band; a front row of wide-eyed teenage girls, singing every single word of their hits such as ‘You’re So.’.

The indie four piece played a range of singles they had put out from 2019 onwards, opening on their newest release ‘Human Contact’.  The band appear to have established a trademark sound already. They favour synths and melodic riffs whilst creating an overall sound that wouldn’t go amiss on the soundtrack of a coming-of-age film. Songs such as ‘Drama Queen’ are successful at evoking the nostalgia of being at a party as a teenager almost reminiscent of an early The 1975, who the band later described to me as being ‘an obvious influence’ of theirs.

Frontman Mark Mckenna sported a pair of bulky headphones on stage throughout the whole gig which felt particularly fitting in songs such as ‘A Little More’ which offered a nod towards a shoegaze-esque sound, complete with swirling vocals which were complimented by the intimate acoustics of the small Manchester venue. There was something very polished about milk.’s already established sound which couldn’t help but provoke me to feel an excitement about the growth in popularity which will inevitably follow soon for the four piece.

The support act, Gloria, were, also notably, one of the most enjoyable and impressive support acts I’ve had the pleasure of watching in a long time. The four piece who formed in Leeds and recently became independent, in desire of more artistic freedom, performed a set filled with a range of songs from powerful acoustic style ballads with a familiar 60’s psychedelic-edge (think ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd) accompanied with harder rock songs, reminiscent of Led Zeppelin.

The lead singer sported a pair of black sequin trousers along with some powerful vocals and falsetto. In conversation with the band later, they went on to later name the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as a major influence, particular on their guitar playing. They also expressed their current fixation on music documentaries to help draw more inspiration for their sound; ‘Who shot the Sheriff?’ covering the life of Bob Marley and Moonage Daydream regarding the life of David Bowie. The band sought to draw components from a wide range of genres, most notably rock and soul, throughout their dazzling thirty-minute set. I’d go onto say that just like milk., Gloria are worth keeping an eye on as they reveal plans to release their next single ‘Runaways’ on Spotify within the coming months.


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