The sold out Scenester single launch night will go down as an important juncture for The Nankeens, where we were treated to the past, present and future sound of the Salford 4 piece as they lead the charge on a buzzing Manchester music scene.
In conjunction with Scruff Of The Neck Records the nights proceedings began with fellow Salford boys Skinny Roller. This was the second time I’d caught the boys recently and the second time I’d been impressed with their blend of garage and blues that has a distinctive Manchester edge. Frontman Mark Nangle has a great on-stage presence and the addition of keyboard adds a different slant to the sound.
Second support act were another local outfit The Relays, a band who have flown under the ALBL radar until now. A combination of dance-floor beats, melodic post-punk guitar and crisp vocals worked really well, accompanied by clever use of loops and synths which created an extra dimension to the sound putting them in a similar genre to The Maccabees and Two Door Cinema Club.
With 260 friends packed into the Deaf Institute music hall The Nankeens took to the stage and kicked off with one of their heavier numbers in Shunt, a not so subtle reminder that you are at rock and roll show and the perfect lead-in to new single and the reason for tonight’s gig, Scenester. Certainly the most direct track to date that pulls no punches in its lyrical attack on band-wagon jumpers and big Cage The Elephant riff that morphs into a desert-rock meltdown, a marker laid down for where the band are currently at. A cheeky cover of the Crickets / Clash classic I Fought The Law was nicely tagged onto the end of Scenester and went down a storm with the Saturday night crowd who by now were on-side and ready to party!
Whispers Down The Phone is a hark back to the more melodic sound of The Nankeens with a crisp drum sound and chiming guitar that leaves plenty of space for the strong vocal of Adam Darby to take centre stage. The first of two new songs was dropped mid set and was noticeable by its big sound and melodic hook that shows an evolving sound. This was followed by crowd favourites Here We Go and Reaper both from the Autonomy EP which was released at the start of the year and saw people aloft on shoulders and bouncing under the huge glitter ball suspended from the ceiling.
Penultimate track was the second new song debuted on the night and again was noticeable by it’s big sounding epic song structure and accomplished musicianship which continues to show the developing sound of a band growing into their sound. Final track of the night I’m Not Playing is probably the most recognisable song to date, again from the Autonomy EP, it’s Kings Of Leon influences strong in both vocals and sound which has europhic feel to it that is befitting of the end to a great night with had the crowd singing back the chorus with abandon.
The triumphant end to the gig was felt by both the band and crowd, the night acting as a celebration of how far The Nankeens have come and a glimpse to the future which promises much.
What the band said: “The night was amazing, it felt like a proper gig if you get me, like we were a big deal. Gig’s like that make all the graft and hard work worth while. The new tunes we played seem to go down well so we’re looking forward to putting the finishing touches on them and playing them again.” Adam Darby, vocals and guitar.
I Fought The Law (Crickets/Clash cover)
Whispers Down the phone
Here we go
I’m Not Playing