As The Mysterines walked out on stage, Nina Simone’s ‘I Put a Spell on You’ rang out across The Bread Shed as a statement of intent. Their headliner show completed the War Child event, now in its third year running, raising funding for “the specific challenges girls and young women face across the world.” Despite the late change of venue across Oxford Road, the “celebration of young, woman-identifying talent” was a roaring success at the event’s first outing outside of London.
The Mysterines chose the lineup themselves for this gig, and all three acts were certainly up for the occasion. Pop-punk one-to-watch Hannah Grae kicked things off with an acoustic set, showcasing her talent without losing any of the urgency of her typical full band material. Songs such as ‘Hell is a Teenage Girl’ lined up perfectly with the event and the early, majority female crowd responded well
Following on from Hannah Grae was the all-female Brighton outfit Lime Garden. It appeared as if they had had some difficulties travelling up to Manchester that day, however, they gamely put on a strong show in spite of this. Leila Deeley on guitar was cool as ice staring out into the crowd and despite (due to a quirk of the stage) being left in the far corner, Annabel Whittle gave a strong performance on drums. Lime Garden are a band making a lot of noise both on and off the stage – they return to Manchester in February 2024 to play YES.
An early curfew meant only just over an hour for The Mysterines, however, it was an hour to remember. Returning to Manchester only a month since their attention-grabbing set at Manchester Psych Fest, the band only seems to get better every time they play. Beginning with new track ‘The Last Dance’, The Mysterines preceded to rattle off four tracks from their debut LP without taking a breath. George Favager on bass and Paul Crilly on drums were their usual tight, yet enthusiastic rhythm section, while Lia Metcalfe and Callum Thompson held down the melodies with a distinct charisma and force.
It was to be a night of new material, with four unreleased songs (‘The Last Dance’, ‘Jesse, You’re a Superstar’, ‘Goodbye Sunshine’, and Hawkmoon’) all being played to a good reception. The band finished their set with a rousing performance of ‘All These Things’ with the full audience belting out the bridge, before ending with an energetic version of ‘Life’s a B*tch (But I Like It So Much)’. With no encore due to the curfew, we left feeling as if the band had given everything they had on stage. When they return to Manchester, this is not a band to miss.
You can read our interview with The Mysterines here.