Mancunia Promotions have been putting on regular nights in venues across Manchester and beyond for over a year now as well as managing a rosta of artists including Sons of the Stage and SPTFYR. The latest installment was held at Dry Live, the basement gig venue situated underneath the famous Dry Bar in Manchester.
First up and making their gig debut was No One Sun a band featured on ALBL back in March this year. Unusually the band had written, recorded and released their debut album, All We Rely On Is Stolen, without having played a gig. If the band were nervous about their first ever live performance it certainly didn’t show, from opening song California they were quickly into their stride. Being the first band on the crowd had yet to swell but those that had made it early were engaged and with the North West 5 piece from the start. The album has some wonderful strings embellishing it in all the rights places so I was interested to see how this would transfer to the live arena, well the absence of the strings ceratinly wasn’t missed. The live sound is a rawer, fuller beast with 3 guitars and bass fleshing out the well crafted album songs to fit perfectly with the gig venue we were in. Quite often in a small venue you struggle to hear the vocals but that was not the case here with strong, clear, confident vocals backed up with some nice harmonies particular on I Don’t Know What To Say To You and the glorious You’ve Changed Your Mind Again with its chiming guitar full of melody. The set also contained the album’s title track All We Rely On Is Stolen which is getting some good feedback at the moment and sounded great live, 2 Ships and Home brought the set to a close. Their brand of US tinged, melody fueled indie tunes will certainly appeal to a wide gig audience and I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
Ruby Tuesday were next to take to the stage, they band have been around for a few years now, forming in 2011 and releasing their debut LP Rebellion Interlude in early 2012. Like another great Manchester outfit, Kill For Company, the band are a duo consisting of drums and guitar but here the drummer takes on the vocal duties. The now rapidly expanding crowd were encouraged by charismatic drummer Joel Kay to move closer and get involved. This was the first time I’d head the pair live and was suitably impressed with the sheer wall of noise created by two people. The dynamic is a little unusual at first with the drummer being the focal point whilst guitarist Jimmy McCarthy struts his stuff across the stage but you soon find yourself caught up the raw energy of the whole thing. The band are currently working on their follow up album and tonight’s set doesn’t contain any songs from the first album, which is a fairly brave thing to do and shows the confidence they have in these new tracks. The eight tracks fly by, each short and to the point, merging into the next without a pause, dirty blues riffs and energetic drumming backed up by great raw rock vocals. Take It From Me is a real stomper of a track with great blasts of Led Zeppelin style guitar which builds to a frantic pace, Likes of You has more of a garage rock feel to it with a great raw vocal that verges on a scream at times. The last song is a cheeky little cover of Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody to Love which is given a rocked up Ruby Tuesday makeover. An exciting performance from a band that offer something a bit different from the usual formula.
Up next were Puppet Rebellion the newly formed Manchester 5-piece who’ve been drawing rave review recently on their live performances and their debut EP Chemical Friends. Kicking the set off with the title track from the EP had the crowd on side straight away with its frantic beat and post-punk indie guitar, Simon Monaghan effortlessly assuming the frontman role with a touch of Manc swagger, both challenging and charming. New Twenty is a great live track with its dancefloor friendly beat and upbeat guitar that draws comparisons to Doves, a great rousing anthem. Green Eyed Monster has more of a garage rock feel to it with its power cord riff, pounding drums and vocal delivered with a snarl. Final track is The Greatest Live Ever Told which is rapidly reaching Manchester anthem status, great melodic and slightly melancholy guitar with a wonderful solo that is Johnny Marr-esc, a chorus that has a message to tell, delivered in an utterly believable way that you can’t help but sing-a-long to. It’s a special moment when you see a band and you know straight away that they have something about them, you can’t quite put your finger on it but they have that special something that sets them apart from the other, well Puppet Rebellion have that special something. A band who are going places at a rapid rate of knots, I strongly recommend you get out and see them live.