Archive for the 'the bangs' Category

Gig Review: Those Dancing Days @ Manchester Roadhouse, 8th August 2008

So, I know this is a bit late. The problem was not so much lack of motivation or even lack of time as it was not quite knowing what to say. Even The Ledge firmly thinks I’m out of my mind about this gig.

The Bangs LiveIn any case, it all started off promisingly enough. We arrived early so we would be certain to catch The Bangs, who we very much enjoyed at Sacred Trinity Church back in February. They pretty much tick every one of our music-loving boxes being a female-fronted indie band whose influences are clearly PJ Harvey, The Breeders, Elastica, Sonic Youth, Helium, etc. They sound like they sprung fully formed from 1991 rather than walking the “indie” standard line of trying to sound like The Libertines or Oasis. They sound fabulous and they look the part too. If they’re not on stage at ATP in a couple of years time performing in front of a drooling cult following of hundreds of pale-faced indie boys in Yo La Tengo T-shirts and gushing music journalists I’ll be very disappointed. They played a blinder, the two female leads swapping bass and guitar back and forth, looking intent and not bothering us with loads of forced, between-song banter. But hey, if you’ve got the songs, you don’t need to ply the crowd with chatter, trying to get them on-side.

The Answering Machine LiveThe crowd had swelled considerably by the time The Answering Machine took the stage. It has been a while since we’ve seen them play – I can’t work it out even looking through our archives – although we do keep seeing them, most notably eating in Barburrito a few months back and queuing for beer at a Death Cab for Cutie gig a few weeks ago. We had not seen them perform since they added a drummer and we were looking forward to it. The drummer has certainly added a lot to their sound and their stage presence. The songs sound fuller and louder even if they haven’t moved on musically very much in the last couple of years. They still sound like a chirpy, British version of The Strokes’ first album. This is not to say that they were not as enjoyable as ever – they were – I just fear that perhaps they’ve missed their window. Too many bands with similar influences have come and gone at this point and it may be a case of evolve or die. I am surprised they haven’t had a hit single by now, but I suspect that if they haven’t they may not. I seriously hope I’m wrong because I think they’re fab.

Those Dancing Days LiveAnd then we came to Those Dancing Days. Now The Ledge had sold me on this gig by telling me they sounded like an old Sarah Records band, playing lo-fi, girlie indie pop. I’d heard about half a song and it sounded pretty good. They certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage and the crowd around me seemed to like it, but frankly, I was bored witless. To be fair, I was suffering from that sound problem where if you stand too close to the stage you can’t hear very well, but as a result it sounded like one long perky pop song. And that one long song was not as charmingly lo-fi as I’d expected. I could have done with the pace changing. Now, I can’t fault the band’s energy – they were throwing themselves into things – but I was just ready to leave after about 10 minutes. I’m not even sure that I wouldn’t enjoy them on record, but on stage, with poor sound, there was nothing particularly attention-grabbing, unexpected or exciting about what I was watching. It’s a pity cause The Ledge hasn’t stopped saying how much he enjoyed it (but he is a guy and he was watching a bunch of young, pretty ladies in skirts playing guitars – he likes that sort of thing – if Kim Deal had been on the stage he’d have been in indie-boy heaven) so I feel like I possibly should have liked it more. But I didn’t. Oh well.

Those Dancing Days – Those Dancing Days

Those Dancing Days – Hitten

Posted by JustHipper on 22nd August 2008 at 7:09 pm | comments (11)
File under Gig Reviews,manchester gigs,mp3,roadhouse,the answering machine,the bangs,those dancing days.

The Indie Cred Manchester Gig Guide: 7th-13th July 2008

Summer In The Park Festival
We’re saving all our gig-going energies for T In The Park next weekend but there’s much going on in Manchester this week with plenty of bands on the T bill doing the rounds.

On Tuesday, Interpol, who were a massive disappointment the last time we saw them at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, hit the Apollo with Ladytron in tow, while on Wednesday, Cardiff indie poppers The School play the Night & Day with an excellent support bill, including local bands Amida and the much-touted Cats In Paris, as well as the excellent Rosie Taylor Project. I’ve never heard of The School before but, from what I can hear on their Myspace page, they sound like they know their way around a Belle And Sebastian record or two. Also on Wednesday, Austin, Texas garage rockers-du-jour White Denim play the Roadhouse.

At the Roadhouse on Thursday are the excellent Jaguar Love, whose Take Me To The Sea album is an absolute joy to behold. Unfortunately we’ll be on our way up to Scotland by then so we’ll also miss the Transgressive Hot Summer Tour at the Night & Day on the same night which features Jeremy Warmsley, Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man and Liam Finn, among others. If neither of those tickle your fancy then get yourselves down to the King’s Arms in Salford for Simon Connor‘s EP launch party which features support from The Bangs, who we highly recommend, and only costs £3 to get in to.

On Saturday and Sunday the inaugural Summer In The Park festival takes place at Platt Fields. Manchester needs a new festival to fill the considerable void left by the disappearance of D:Percussion from the schedules and Summer In The Park looks like it might just fit the bill. It’s billed as a food and drink festival so while there’s an excellent music line-up, including I Am Kloot, The Earlies, Magic Arm, Liam Frost, Stephen Fretwell, Lucy And The Caterpillar, The Bottomfeeders and Gideon Conn, some of the city’s finest eating establishments will be setting up shop for the weekend, including Grill On The Alley, MosoMoso, The Northern Quarter Restaurant, Tampopo, Evuna, Chaophraya and Carluccio’s, to name but a few. It’s £9 for a day ticket and £17 for a weekend pass and it almost makes me wish that we weren’t heading up to Scotland this weekend. Let’s just hope the weather holds out for all of us.

Posted by The Ledge on 6th July 2008 at 10:47 pm | comments (3)
File under gig guide,gigs,interpol,manchester gigs,simon connor,summer in the park,the bangs,Uncategorized.

Gig Review: Light Syndicate @ Sacred Trinity Church, Salford, 8th February 2008

Light Syndicate @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordA couple of years ago we blogged a bit about a local band called Nephew. We saw them live a few times and they were great, and they also released an EP called Our Cold War which was very good indeed. It all went a bit quiet on the Nephew front last year but they have now re-emerged as the much more Google-friendly Light Syndicate and last week played in the ornate but cosy surroundings of Salford’s Sacred Trinity Church.

First to take the stage on the night was local singer-songwriter Simon Connor who did a decent job and managed to keep most of the assembled throng interested in his folksy pop. It was above-average singer-songwriter fare and his guitar playing was excellent throughout. He even busted out the ubiquitous looping pedal on his final song, building up layer upon layer of guitar to quite brilliant effect.

The Bangs @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordThe Bangs were a pleasant surprise, not least because their rather unimaginative name conjured up the image of a bunch of ladrock dullards. Things could not have been further from the truth as The Bangs are a three piece with a bloke on drums and a couple of very cool and slightly nervous looking young girls in their indie best sharing guitar, bass and vocal duties. And they were great, mixing up indie pop with grungey rock and taking me back to the early 90s and the likes of The Breeders and Throwing Muses, as well as some of those Riot Grrrl bands. Despite these influences, they were clearly intent on doing their own thing and were obviously enjoying themselves. What really impressed me was the way they used their guitars, picking out melodies on both guitar and bass that dovetailed together quite beautifully. We’ll definitely be watching out for The Bangs in the future; they could go on to break a thousand indie boy hearts.

Light Syndicate @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordLight Syndicate have lost their violinist since last we saw them and so are down to a mean, lean four piece. This is a shame because he brought a lot to their sound, especially to the post-rock aspect of it, although without him they sound more compact and more focused. They have finished recording their long-awaited (by us, anyway) debut album and almost all of the night’s set was taken up by tracks from it. The church, with its high ceilings, chandeliers and huge stained-glass windows, was a great setting for their atmospheric rock. New songs like “Friday Night On Peter St.” and “87654” might betray an obvious Radiohead influence but they sounded excellent nonetheless. Old favourite “High Rise Buildings” from their EP (and re-recorded for the new album) sounded as good as ever with the missing violinist’s parts remaining intact thanks to the wonders of modern technology. The album’s title track, “Last In Line”, was the highlight of a fine set with its blissful instrumental coda, complete with melodica solo, filling every corner of the room.

They ended with a new song, “Super Tuesday”, which had a rather funky bassline and another lengthy instrumental coda that took the song well past the 10 minute mark. It is during these long instrumental sections that the band’s excellent rhythm section come into their own, laying down a solid groove and allowing guitar and keyboards the freedom to soar into the sonic heavens. This was an impressive return to action and Light Syndicate have got a few more gigs lined up in the near future; check out their MySpace page for further details.

Light Syndicate – High Rise Buildings (album version)

Nephew – Secret Army (from the Our Cold War EP)

Posted by The Ledge on 20th February 2008 at 9:57 pm | comments (34)
File under Gig Reviews,light syndicate,mp3,nephew,sacred trinity church,salford,simon connor,the bangs.