Alphaville recently opened their own shop, Alphaville Emporium. Here at BSM we have been watching their progress with interest and when they announced Repeater, the first in a series of all day events designed to bring what they call “new/weird/wonderful music to Manchester at grassroots venues” I couldn’t resist checking it out. Today’s event comes to Withy Public Hall and they have put together a stellar line up that incorporates all the above.
Opening are Tigers & Flies, a dual city quintet who started life in Brighton but now call Manchester home. They offer up smatterings of dream pop melodies, with Marr-esque guitar lines that draws the two cities together. The added brass and mixed percussion give them an edge that can at first be a little daunting, this is sophisticated music you can’t give half of your attention. Thankfully the already busy room are up to the task and they see their set out with wit and gusto.
One quarter of Alphaville makes up one fifth of Threads, a local band who have been around the underground circuit for a few rotations but are now really coming into their own after some personnel changes. The changes are completed today with the addition of a bass player, allowing said one quarter Kane to take the role he was made for up front. Highlight of the set undoubtedly comes in the form of new single ‘Primitive Cinema’ which showcases who they really are to best effect. With more than a passing soundbite to a certain Mr Smith and lyrics almost, but not quite, too dark to listen too, the crowd lap them up and accolades abound as they leave the stage.
Splint are a band I’ve reviewed more than once, and with a new concrete line up and ever so slightly more of an online presence, they are really coming into their own. Fresh on the back of a sold-out headline show in Manchester last night one would forgive them for being jaded, but that is not the case. They soar through their set to many new faces who devour their raw garage rock, and slower melodic numbers. ‘Military Procedures’ is a brilliant track from start to finish, with punchy interludes and clever harmonies. The Velvets of our generation? Could be.
Local legends Yossari Baby need no introduction, the fluidity of their sound and line-up mean today we are treated to a presentation of two piece. Their synth laden and hypnotic guitar melodies lull the audience into a trance, add the dancing of Lucy into the equation and its impossible not to fall for them. Having not seen them live before I’m an instant convert, their set was nothing short of spectacular and had to be seen/heard/experienced to be believed. Check their listings and go, you won’t regret it.
Ending the day for me are Bristolians Spectres who haven’t been around these parts for a while but were not so long ago a name on everyone’s lips. They have lost none of their lustre and in playing a selection of the finest part of their back catalogue, they have found themselves some new fans and rekindled some old love simultaneously.
Alphaville were brave with this line-up, some thought maybe too brave, but how wrong the were. The day flowed like wine, without hitch or incident, and all bands gave their all. A brilliant experience, when’s the next one..?