Photos by Meg Crowther Lomax
Tonight, is a special one, with the gathering of likeminded souls at Manchester’s Northern Quarter hub for misfits The Peer Hat, for the launch of the Agitator EP by The Dirt.
Before we get on to them, we are treated to sets from three support acts. First up are Bloodworm, a goth tinged three piece from Nottingham who captivate from the first note. Think Sisters of Mercy meets Early Fleetwood Mac, interesting right?
Next are Dim Imagery, a post punk outfit from Leeds. The five piece offer a diverse set that stands out from a lot of other bands of their ilk, with their upcoming single being the stand out track. A set delivered with style they deserve the applause that sees them off.
Warrington quartet Pray for Mojo have played here before and always go down a storm, tonight is no exception. They merge psych with a range of sounds from doom to garage rock and do it well. They open with ‘Landslide’ which always gets people in the mood and fire through a seamless set including a new track which stands out above the rest, showing where they are going and how much they are pushing themselves. They’re back on 5 May, we’ll be there and so should you.
And on to the main event! The Dirt are Jack and Sachiko a husband/wife duo based near Manchester. They create a chaotic blend of alternative psychedelia, with shoegaze riffs blending sleekly into sonic punk style vocals. They straddle genres and uncompromisingly merge sound to their own rules. The combination of guitar loops, effects and distortion with percussion and the spoken word is quite something to behold.
Formed in 2020 they initially dropped two unexpected and unannounced EPs to Bandcamp, No More Moves and Phishing in Feral Streams, in quick succession which caught the attention of the alternative music press around Manchester and local independent radio. Tonight sees the launch of Agitator, their second offering through GBR after quick selling EP Psycher-Billy was released in 2021 on limited CD.
They open proceedings with the title track, appropriately and move swiftly into ‘Reality Vs Normality’ which from its opening beat captivates and draws the crowd in. This is one that’s been included in their set for a while and with its poignant lyrics its no surprise people love it. ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ and ‘Power Junkie’ make for a heady cocktail and by this time the crowd are not holding back, dancing erupts alongside woops and cheers. They also include ‘The Bully’ from Psycher-Billy, another fan favourite and its inclusion here is most welcome. ‘Rant #2’ and ‘Crying Out Loud’ sit next to each other on the EP, and with good reason, they flow perfectly and the constant sway lulls people into submission. The set wraps up all too soon with ‘Voting Booth’ and ‘Bury Believers’, two tracks perfectly placed to leave fans wanting more.
Not many bands who have been producing music for less than three years sell out an EP launch and produce music of such quality, The Dirt have mastered both, one can only wonder where they can go from here…