Millie Manders & The Shutup – O2 Ritz Manchester

Normally a 4 band line-up on a Sunday night would be greeted with some trepidation, with one eye on Monday morning and the call of a “proper job”. Less Than Jake are in town and have brought along a real mixed bag to support them, with Skinny Lister, Ska legends The Toasters and up and coming Brit Ska punkers , Millie Manders & The Shutup, who open the show. Despite the early stage time there is a good number of people who have pitched up to catch them. With their 2020 debut “Telling Truths, Breaking Ties” well behind them, they open with 3 songs from the beginning of the bands career; One That Got Away, Obsession Transgression and Right to Life, from their first 2 Eps.

One That Got Away has a real Bosstones feel to it, with its punctuated brass riffs, a song about living your best life after a breakup. 2016’s Obsession Transgression is a poison pen letter to the likes of the vacuous Love Island oxygen thieves like Mollie Mae Hague et al. Right To Life gives Millie the chance to show what a great vocal range she has, with its slow soulful intro before crashing into a Madness/Lily Allen style mash up. There’s some serious lyrical content interweaved with crashing drums and searing guitar. Candy pop this isn’t. New to me Sweet Melody, sounds fresh and hopefully will appear somewhere soon. The rest of the set is culled from Telling Truths, Breaking Ties and Bitter shows a harder edge, with a more metal guitar less ska feel, with more spacious sound. Current single Not Okay, re-recorded from the album, is a full on anthem meeting mental health issues head on, something that Millie has openly discussed. Judging by the rapturous reception from the rapidly growing crowd and the spontaneous sing along, which greets the chorus, it’s obvious Millie is not alone. Your Story brings the set to a close. Again this shows a hardened maturity, which breaks the shackles from straight up ska punk of earlier material, with a more punk feel, more light and shade. I think they’ve certainly made a few new fans tonight and I can’t wait to see them at Blackpool’s  Rebellion Festival in August, when they open for Hawkwind on the Thursday.

If you can’t wait until August then you can catch them at Macclesfield’s Party In The Pews at the end of April

A recent interview

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