First gig of the year for me was the MPTV night in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter at the Kraak Gallery. The night is the brainchild of Mr Peeps who is doing great work for unsigned bands in the city with the night being a showcase for bands trying to get their music out there.
With the snow coming down we eventually found the venue tucked away down a narrow back alley in a scene straight out of a Dickens novel, half expected Bill Sykes and Bullseye to be following us!
Unfortunately first band The Gullwings had finished which was disappointing as I’ve been enjoying their tracks on YouTube, I therefore suggest you go and do the same. I need to catch these guys soon.
So Mama Roux took to the small but perfectly formed stage to give us their mix of soul, jazz and down right funky sounds, they may have been a member light but this didn’t stop them putting on a great show. From the back of the room the first thing that hits you is how tight the band are with the rhythm section and guitar blending nicely to provided the groove over which Tallulah Anton delivers the vocals, this girl can sing!
Fire opened the set oozing sex appeal and 60’s vibe that suits tonight’s venue down to the ground all late night dark drinking den. Stand out track was Reach Out which starts off all cool and laid back laying down a groove before picking up the pace and rocking out towards the end with Tallulah’s vocal really coming to the fore.
Mama Roux Set List:
Fire, Pointless, Who Are You, Heart and Soul, Reach Out, Use Me.
After a refreshingly quick turn around (there’s nothing worse than standing around waiting between bands!) Velocets were up to close the night. The band only started out last year but have already made waves in the city, Sophie was picked up by BBC introducing and kicked the set off with a dark brooding bass line before the guitar comes blasting through. It’s pretty clear the crowd were right behind the band with plenty of bouncing, hands in the air and words being sung back, in such a short time they already have a loyal following!
Tell It Your Kids is a high-octane ride which has a first album We Are Scientists feel to it and a seriously catchy chorus. Set closer Naked is their stand out track for me, using the classic soft and loud song structure in the verse and chorus which works really well live, this should definitely be getting radio play! Their sound is reminiscent of early Cribs and like The Cribs you feel that Velocets are at times on the verge of chaos which adds to the excitement of the show. For a 3 piece they make a hell of a noise and are full of energy on stage as well as plenty of banter and crowd interaction. There’re not the finished article but plenty of potential and it will be interesting to see how they progress.
Velocets Set List:
Sophie, Fox, About The World, Push Me In, I Got This, Down On Your Luck, Tell It To Your Kids, Naked.
It was great to see some many people out to support the night particular given the bad weather. It just goes to show build it and they will come, so if you want to catch some new music in an intimate venue get yourself down next time!
**Pictures from Trust A Fox Photography
The Gullwings Mama Roux Velocets