On 15th July 1978, 35000 people came together in Alexandria Park to listen to music and make a stand against racism and fascism. In the 40 years that have passed, unfortunately the ghost of racism has returned and so the need to stand up and be counted is stronger than ever. Tonight at Night People, Manchester is prepared to show once more that we Love Music, Hate Racism. The line-up incorporates an eclectic mix of spoken word and music spanning the genres and appealing to all.
Opening we have the Young Identity Poets, who retell heartfelt tales of their youth with an added cheeky countenance, their stories move and captivate the early birds. In between bands we are treated to musical delights spanning reggae, blues and punk from DJ Debbie Golt.
The first musical expressions come from Josh Goddard, a one man acoustic act whose stunning voice draws the audience ever closer in increasing curiosity as he also belts out a couple of Sam Cooke numbers in perfect harmony.
The first band comes in the form of the enigmatic Kieran Dobson, whose influences are clearly heard in the Nick Cave vocal drawl blended with Alex Turner-esq lyrics. Whether it’s intensely catchy harmonies in ‘Catatonia’ or provocative lyrics in ‘Witch Hunt’, there is constantly something intriguing going on in this set including backwards guitar playing and Allen Ginsberg poetry, all it needs is glitter and you’ve got the lot. His set is well received as there is literally something for everybody here, add to your ‘one to watch list’.
We return to the spoken word in the form of Patrick T Davies, an urban wordsmith who has started to circulate the underground Manchester scene in ever increasing frequency, with his clever tirades on suburban living – think John Cooper Clarke for the modern day, and you’re half way there. With titles like ‘Stagecoach Slouch’ and ‘Agenda Bender’, you can probably guess the tone of his tales, it’s the perfect fit for the event.
The Naughtys bring the kind of ska that you just don’t get to listen to live anymore, with a set incorporating their own tracks as well as Madness’ ‘Night Boat to Cairo’ and The Specials’ ‘Monkey Man’. They turn the venue into a sweaty, skanking mass of bouncing bodies and flying shirts, I don’t think they really could have asked for more.
The Nabb Gang brought urban rap with them and rolled out their prose to an enraptured crowd before headliner Maddy Storm took to the stage. The four piece band fronted by Maddy herself know how to please with haunting vocal melodies in tracks such as ‘Tempest’ and a voice so powerful it’s hard to believe it comes from such a petite frame. They are worthy of the headline slot and are whooped and applauded with all due fanfare.
The event draws to a close and I think its safe to say that everyone in the room can proudly state that they Love Music, Hate Racism.