Had a shit day. Was saved by a mate who suggested we went to a gig in Manchester. At a place called Fuhrer Bunker. In a dead industrial estate with glass shattered and burnt out buildings in the middle of nowhere. Where two supposedly “amazeballs” bands were going to play. In a cage.
When you add all of that up together it’ll be stupid not to fucking go.
Now this gig was organized by Now Wave Manchester and Sways Records, an indie label based in Salford. I’ve been to a couple of Now Wave nights when I used to live in Manchester a coupla years ago so kinda know what to expect.
I was so wrong.
So I took the train down, met up with some friends, we drove there and were led to the secret-ish location by Liv from Shatter Japan mag. At the entrance, I was like, “Its just a fucking garage. WTF“. But upon stepping inside, it became apparent that it wasn’t just a garage. It’s a magical, smoky dungeon – dark, dingy, fog machines going mental, there was a bar (when I say bar, I meant a table with a dude handing out cans for a couple of gold coins), house party vibes, there was visuals, the music was good – it was DIY but fucking hell, it was DIY done well and it was fucking sweet as hell.
In the other room, a massive wooden cage had been erected in the middle of the
room bunker so the crowd could watch the bands from any side. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s becoming more and more clear that this wasnt just a gig – this is forward thinking stuff. It was like a whole new meaning of performance and art.
Emerging from the wave of fog, PINS stepped into the cage. Reverb loaded, deep bassline and jangly guitars – it’s garage rock you’d expect with raw shouty male vocals but swap that for sultry female vocals and its like this perfected sound concoction – it makes you want to shake, sway and dance. They were brilliant.
[Pins - Shoot You]
[Pins - Eleventh Hour]
Next band was Savages. Argh. Why have I not heard of these guys before? I thought PINS were spot on, but SAVAGES was something else altogether – their sound was visceral, it was sharp and pounding and with such finesse.
The lead singer, Jehnny, she gave off this Siouxie Sioux vibe with her voice, and erratic dancing and haircut. And my god can that guitarist work that instrument – awesome use of feedback and reverb for ambience, bassist was totally into it, played the whole set chewing gum and her eyes closed, the drummer was BAD ASS. FUCK MY LIFE they were amazing. They have this, like, dark, intense sound, like if Joy Division and Siouxie Sioux actually made a band together, they’d sound like Savages or maybe not, because I caught a hint of of an ordered chaos, like new wave and no wave crashing in together. It was like a storm, I was enthralled. Jehnny was like so charming, drinking vodka with Cranberry Ocean Spray, such sass, yet sometimes with a crazed look in her eyes, in her heels, holding on to the microphone. And they don’t even have any recordings out yet! I mean, I spoke to the guitarist Gemma and she was like, yeah we’ve got a vinyl coming out soon – I can’t even find a bandcamp or soundcloud or anything!
But we have videos of them
This one was from last night :
(WATCH THIS!! An old one)
Absolutely kicking myself for not bringing my camera. Gutted – but I will be bringing it to their next gig at Islington Mill at the end of the month. And hopefully I will be able to score an interview with them (and PINS!) by then. Also, LEEDS! WE NEED TO UP OUR GAME A BIT! :)
I bought their t-shirt. My mate somehow managed to get hold of their setlist and got the guitarist to autograph it for her. What.a.groupie. LOL!