By Sian Connolly
For two nights and two nights only, Manchester’s very own, Hot Milk, perform two of their biggest headlining shows titled “England’s Screaming”. Last night, the band took over the London venue, Koko, creating nothing but chaos. But tonight, it was anarchy at the Ritz.
Eagerly waiting for the venue to open, an endless queue of fans lined up the full length of the streets surrounding the o2 Ritz in Manchester. It didn’t take long for the clock to turn to half past 6 and the countless number of alternative individuals rushed into the venue ready for the night ahead.
First to take the stage is London band, Clarence & The Modern Life. Lead singer, Louis Matlock, absolutely smashed it, kicking off the night by jumping off the stage and joining the audience at the barrier for the first song of their set. An incredible start to the evening. They truly brought the energy to get the crowd hyped up and mosh-pit ready!
Next up is British Noise rock group, Jools, from Leicester. Turning up on stage in bright pink feather boas definitely caught the attention of the crowd. With the mix of spoken words and bouncy sung songs, the seven-piece band certainly put a spin on modern-day music. With little bits of feather flying everywhere, lead singers Mitchell Gordon and Kate Price wreck the stage with their hectic bursts of energy as the crowd cheer along!
The lights dim and the pop-punk band, As December Falls, make their way onto the stage. Formed in 2014, Nottingham group are here to show us who’s boss. After playing sold-out shows on their 2022 European tour, these guys knew exactly how to get our attention. Their setlist included hits from their self-titled album (released in 2019) alongside singles such as “Carousel”, “Mayday” and “Afterglow”. Lead vocalist, Bethany Hunter, has a heart of gold; constantly interacting with the crowd with nothing but big smiles. Not to forget her incredible voice. With guitarists Timmy and Ande and Luke on the drums, this band rock with confidence. You can definitely see where their musical influences come from through their catchy songs. A bit of Blink-182 here and a bit of Jimi Hendrix there… you can’t possibly go wrong. If you haven’t seen these guys live, you’re truly missing out!
Drum roll please…… the time has come for the emo-power, pop-punk duo to tear up the stage! A loud bang echoes the room as confetti covers the crowd, kicking it off with hit single “Bad Influence” from their recently released EP, “The King And Queen Of Gasoline”. Speaking of gasoline, they sure did light the room up with their unmatched energy; bouncing around the stage, head banging and even Han throwing her guitar! (to a technician of course, not the crowd!) the crowd went absolutely wild. There was not one wrong lyric sung in that pit as hands were waving in the air and even some tears were shed at finally seeing their idols taking over the Ritz. England was indeed “screaming” well, more specifically, Manchester…!!
Fronting the band, singers Hannah Mee and James Shaw, commonly known as Han and Jim, dive back into their 2021 era with EP, “I JUST WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’M DEAD”. After meeting in a bar back in 2016, the duo quickly became friends and went on to officially form the band, Hot Milk, two years later in 2018.
When the one-off gigs were announced back in October 2022, the band tweeted, “we wanted to do our biggest shows yet in two iconic venues that mean a lot to us personally…celebrating the end of the EP trilogy era, n introduce u to what comes next”. To all the Hot Milk fans out there, I’m sure we can agree we’re all ready for “what comes next” (cough, cough, hopefully, an album!)
As the show came to an end and the mosh pits were no more, we were suddenly surprised with an encore, finishing off the perfect night like an ice cream with a cherry on top. If you ever see Hot Milk are playing at a venue near you, you have to get tickets – if not, you’re sincerely missing out!