The Nankeens + The High Nines + Skinny Roller @ Gorilla, Manchester - 17/05/2014

by DavidBeech
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on 28 May 2014 in Live

Whilst it almost goes without saying that there's a plethora of quality music on offer in Manchester on a daily basis, there are some gigs that bring together those in the city, that are supposedly in the know - promoters, critics, labels and perhaps most importantly of all, other bands. Tonight is one such night. Hosted by local label Scruff of the Neck Records, the bill features some of Greater Manchester's most promising talent in the form of Salford boys The Nankeens, with The High Nines, Skinny Roller and David Liversedge in support.

Arriving fashionably we miss Liversedge, which is a shame. Having seen him before we can attest to his often short, but always good sets. Taking to the stage next are Skinny Roller, a band I've been familiar with for a while but hadn't yet seen live. Expecting them to be the band we knew a year ago, a band that had promise but lacked polish, we're blown away when we see just how much they've come on in the last 12 months. They sound completely different, more fleshed out, more confident. Ending with 'Blue Dove', a track with huge ambitions and an excellent intro, closes the set in a big way, setting the bar high for both The High Nines and The Nankeens.

Fortunately the following two bands follow suit. Moving up to the back of the venue and up on the 'balcony', it's obvious now the fledging crowd early on was in no way indicative of the overall turnout. Gorilla soon seems to be a mass of bodies, silhouetted against the strobes as The High Nines (main picture) take their place on stage. With a set made up of heavy guitar licks and crushing percussion, the band come of as a British take on US desert rock, like a less stoned QOTSA by way of Kasabian. Tracks such as 'Paupers and Kings' and 'Rainman' go down massively well and it's obvious the band have brought a lot of people here tonight themselves.

The Nankeens are the second Salford band on the bill tonight – and who exceed all expectations, with a set longer than these kind of nights usually go for. The crowd, now suitably rowdy, lapping up tracks such as opener 'Shunt' and the Kings of Leon-esque 'Reaper' going down excellently. It's set closers 'Breaking Bad' and 'Scenester' which have the best reception of the night so far. The former begins as a slow, almost mournful affair that soon picks up steam, becoming emotive and uplifting, the latter a far more upbeat affair which sees plenty of beer spilled and ends the set, and as such the night, on a high.

It's gigs such as this which showcase the talent on offer in Manchester perfectly. Granted they quite often at a much smaller venue, but the increase in size means an increase in exposure for everyone involved, bands and label. It's these bands and labels that are embracing the DIY scene that are helping to keep Manchester's music scene(s) as independent and as self-sufficient as possible, something imperative to maintaining it's rich and varied music heritage. We're fortunate enough as a city to have, not only talent brought in from elsewhere, but also an ever-burgeoning scene of home-grown talent and the perfect backdrop from which it can be viewed and it's nights such as tonight which showcase just how important that home-grown talent is. Viva la Manchester.


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