Manchester based DIY record label Longevity Records held their All Frequencies Covered night at the city’s iconic Roadhouse venue, the basement haunt that oozes rock n roll charm and character which has seen many great bands pass through over the years.
On a packed card the night had already seen Phantomz and Culprit take to the stage before I caught Skinny Roller mid set who had filled the void left by Apollo Junction. This Salford 5 piece have been gigging hard recently, I’ve seen the name pop up all over the city at various venues so I was looking forward to catching them live for the first time. I wasn’t disappointed, with their mix of garage rock and blues combined with a bit of northern swagger, all underpinned by a real groove powered by some very nice bass playing, the keyboard provided an extra dimension and depth to what can sometimes be a minimal genre. They’ve got a couple of demo tracks, Caroline, Maybe and I’d Rather Be Dead, up on SoundCloud so check them out.
Up next were Longevity Records own Kill For Company, regular readers of ALBL will know this duo are a big favourite having championed their Alternative For Living EP earlier in the year. As usual drummer Mark is shirtless from the start providing the engine-room and Michael has his guitar-come-bass strapped on providing the noise. Push kicked things off with its brooding post-punk opening before breaking into its garage rock stomp that cranked up the heat in the sweaty little room even more. The pair quickly launched into Alternative For Living with its distinct church-organ sounding guitar riff and a particular distorted solo followed by Black & White which has a more melodic vibe to it. The guitar playing is certainly something you have to see live to appreciate, the noises coming out of this guitar/bass hybrid are pretty astounding and a testament to the skill of the guitarist, but what you don’t perhaps pickup on is the way the drums interact with the guitar, particular the effective use of the bass drum combined with the bass notes of the guitar that create the rhythm which powers the whole sound. Bag of Doubts was a particular highlight with its heavy opening riff and distorted blues guitar, not to mention the drums being hit that hard that the sticks went flying at the end of the song. Money Now brought the short but sweet set to a close with its infectious groove and grungy edge. Always a great, raw, energetic and exciting band to catch live.
Rawcuss were the penultimate band of the nights, also signed to Longevity Records, their pop/punk and ska style really wasn’t for me, I’ve never connected with this genre and unfortunately Rawcuss weren’t about to change this, I’m one of the few people who doesn’t get the Buzzcocks! Still the fans in their Rawcuss t-shirts clearly get it so they must be doing something right.
Final band of the night were another ALBL favourite, Salford 4-piece The Nankeens who’ve also been hardworking recently, hitting the gig circuit with their Autonomy EP in tow. The first thing you notice about The Nankeens live is the big sound they create, which has the space to allow each element of the song to be heard from the solid drumming and bass to the melodic chiming guitar and the clear vocals, Reaper and I’m Not Playing from the EP are great examples of this structure at work. A track I hadn’t heard before, Honest, stood out as it had a Dire Straits quality to it with an epic song structure which led nicely into Breaking Bad another track with an epic and melancholy feel, layered guitars that rise and fall through to a rousing solo. The next track has a working title of Scenster and should be the next release from the band later in the year, it has a heavier feel to the other tracks with a desert rock style riff, stomping rhythm and a subject matter that deals with those people who jump on a scene just because it’s the next cool thing. The set closed with Here We Go a subtle track that allows the space for the Caleb Followill style vocals to really stand out before rocking out to the end.
The Nankeens along with Kill For Company are up there with a host of great bands in the Manchester area that are creating a buzz of expectation around the city at the moment. It was great to see plenty of people out showing their support for up and coming bands especially when The Courteeners were playing the first of their two night residency over at Castlefield Basin.