Live music is a funny thing: you know when you love a band, and you finally get the chance to see them live there is so much pressure. Maybe you heard their music playing at a hugely significant point in your life, and as a result you cherish those songs and those songs will always transport you back in time. You go into the concert with jaded, yet hopeful ears. You watch, you sing, you dance, you judge, you watch out for the crafty-little changes. “Well, he doesn’t play it like that on the album”, you might think. I guess what I’m getting at is that you’re so emotionally invested that you leave yourself open to hurt, disappointment, elation, joy, admiration. Pfft, feelings! Am I right?
I enter The Prince Albert with no expectations. I don’t know these acts. I expect a sweaty room half-full of bodies. Bands with an army of Facebook passive fans, but an active (and supportive) Mum and Dad in the audience.
I was so fucking wrong.
Our Family Dog, a band heavily influenced by Manchester’s post-punk scene, kick off proceedings. They exercise the spirits of acts like Joy Division and Gang of Four with their chanty, dystopian soundscapes. Music laced with the growing swells of intense paranoia whilst armed with a frontman that will psychotically stare into your soul. It was incredible to see full band involvement on vocal duties and a set that purposefully increased the pressure that it could have turned coal into diamonds.
Beach Riot’s fuzz-induced rock, complete with Neanderthal drumming, and one of the dirtiest bass tones I have ever heard came straight out of-the-gate and blitzed through a relative quagmire of a fuzzy and sonically-grimy set, which could only be described as if Sonic Youth, and QOTSA had decided to get together, and make a baby. Complimenting smooth vocals with a creative and inspired use of guitar effects lead to a captivating grunge-swamp-set in which I was completely immersed.
Now I have a confession to make.
I had checked out Press Club before I attended the gig. I liked what I heard, and this is where I’ve been struggling with writing this piece. I have seen many incredible bands over the years. “Hey! You’ve heard the album, yeah, they played that album live!”. “And…?”….
(Where is this guy going with this?)
Bluntly, I have such huge amounts of admiration for this band. They were the most professional band I have seen in a long time. I, myself, have been in bands, but these guys as a unit; as a gang, were an amazing experience to witness. They interacted. They laughed. They communicated. They knew what they wanted to hear and they made damn sure that the sound engineer gave it to them! These guys played like it was the last show they were ever going to play. The room was jumping, clapping, singing along. These guys took a polite, and reserved British audience, and told them to pack it in! I absolutely adored watching these guys play. With a (Paul) Weller-like intensity of a locked ‘n’ loaded Rickenbacker 6-string, combined with some excellent bass playing that falls between the likes Bruce Foxton and Matt Freeman the hour-long set flew by. A vocal performance that reminded me of Pat Benatar completed the peppering of an 80’s youth vibe loaned an innocence and charm to the bands performance, particularly on tracks like, “Thinking About You” and “Get Better”. If you get the opportunity to check these guys out, I heavily suggest you do. New album “Wasted Energy” is out now.