Psyblings kicked off the night to a high spirited Night and Day crowd in Manchester. The band from Manchester are a psych-rock band which is made up of Greg Dixon, Ellis Cullen, Dan Coleman, Jordan Lythgoe and Sam Bullock. This band are LOUD, with their fast-distorted guitar chords, riffs and energy Dixon makes a mesmerising front man, reminding me of Jim Morrison from The Doors at times. A stand out favourite was ‘Where’s Your Moon’ which was released last July. The band’s songs are filled with chaotic drumming and guitar. The bands late 60’s psychedelic rock influences are apparent throughout, yet they manage to make it sound very modern.
The Bay Ray’s
Next up were The Bay Rays, Harry Nicoll, Maxwell Oakley and Anthus Davis. I was very impressed with these guys from the off, excellent stage presence and an even greater sound. Frontman Nicoll, hooked me in straight away, and this three piece know how to make noise. Singing, uplifting and explosive tracks the bands passion is clear to see. Lyrically the band sing about real life, either their own or other peoples and its delivered brilliantly.
I definitely look forward to catching these guys again.
The Hidden Charm’s
Once The Bay Rays left the stage anticipation for the headline act, The Hidden Charms, started building.
The Hidden Charms are from London and consist of Vincent Davies (vocals, bass, guitar); Ranald Macdonald (vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass); Josh Lewis (guitar, bass) and Oscar Robertson (drums). This band is extraordinary, they’ve attracted attention from some of the most legendary music producers, including Kink’s producer, Shel Talmy. Listen, if you haven’t jumped on board with this band yet, do yourself a massive favour and dive right in. The last time I saw Hidden Charms was last year in Leeds and they absolutely blew me away. I woke up still buzzing and for days after I couldn’t stop singing the songs and raving about them to everyone.
Tonight, was no exception, apart from one tiny detail. Let me make one thing clear, I hate criticizing anything about this band as they are one of my favourites and anyone who follows me on Facebook will know how highly I speak of them. I have to be honest though and since the last time I saw them, the band have added a percussion guy (or he has returned, not sure) that in my opinion, does not fit in with the visual aesthetics of the band at all. This band just ooze everything that is cool, but sadly my attention was drawn straight to him, and sadly not in a good way.
Despite that minor detail the band delivered as always, electrifying the air, the whole band effortlessly charmed the pants off the whole audience. The band are so musically tight live its enthralling.
The band played crowd pleasers from new EP ‘Harder from Here’ and classics from previous EP’s releases like ‘Cannon Ball’ and ‘Love You Cause Your There’. Throughout the set not one of the band stay still and its full of brutal riffs and precise playing. Much to my delight MacDonald mid-set jumped into the crowd, wrapped his arm over my shoulder whilst playing his harmonica, while the irrepressible crowd went wild. Vincent Davies is the ultimate front man, with his good looks and mellifluous vocals, he’s great rockstar. The harmonies between Davies and MacDonald are pure bliss.
When I watch any live band I always look to the drummer and believe me when I say Oscar Robertson is by far one of the best drummers in the UK right now. He contributes lots of energy to the feel of the music and puts his absolute all in and he nails it every single time. Flamboyantly standing and pounding the drums, he is a true natural.
The highlight for me tonight was country sounding ‘Harder from Here’ the acoustics, and harmonica sounded immense live. I also personally loved ‘I Don’t Mind’ the bands latest release which is an upbeat rock song, with strong 70’s psychedelic rock vibes. The last song yet another favourite ‘I Just Want to Be Left Alone’ resulted in a stage invasion.
It was a magical and memorable night.
The Hidden Charms are one of, if not the best bands in the UK right now, an exceptional show to see and very, very entertaining.