Soho Dandy are a four-piece from Erskine centred around the songwriting talent of Blain McEwan. Their muscular blues rock owes a large debt to BRMC and The Black Keys, but it’s McEwan’s voice that’s the revelation, and the foundation on which their future success might be built. It certainly impresses the two-dozen punters who have arrived early enough to hear it. Up next are Captain and the Kings, a band of family members and friends who play a brand of folkish-pop that seems overly concerned about the insecurities caused by relationships. Their sound is warm and embracing, but their songs too often tread on over-familiar lyrical ground.
Any doubt that tonight’s headliners Haight-Ashbury might struggle to replicate the lush, layered sound of their new album are cast aside by the haunting opening number, Dum Dee Dum. Jennifer and Kirsty’s harmonies are note-perfect, and fit well with Scott’s reverb-drenched Telecaster. There’s no attempt to hide their obsession with the psychedelic sounds of forty years ago in tonight’s set – and they certainly look the part in their vintage dresses and jackets, but never does this feel like some limp revival act. There’s just enough feedback and lyrical darkness, which, when added to the Moe Tucker-style drums, suggest that this is a band with a surprisingly hard edge. Older songs like Freeman Town seem almost throwaway when heard alongside superior new efforts like Masstricht (A Treaty). Haight-Ashbury are definitely a band moving forward, even if their sound is rooted firmly in yesteryear.
We think you'd like
Dot to Dot 2015 – ManchesterNow in its sixth-year, the city centre festival makes a bold move across town - and reaps the rewards Read more »| 03 Jun 2015
The Strange Case of Jekyll and HydeAdapting one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous works was never going to be an easy task, but Morna Pearson’s reimagining of his classic sto... Read more »| 11 May 2015
Snails and Ketchup @ New Town TheatreTales of dysfunction are most often the most darkly entertaining – the tale of a dysfunctional family even more so. Ramesh Meyyappan’s Snails and... Read more »| 05 Sep 2011
Death from Above 1979 / Turbowolf @ The Ritz, Manchester, 24 February“Did anybody see us a few months ago, across the road?” Therein lies part of the problem with tonight’s Death from Above 1979 show. Th... Read more »| 27 Feb 2015