“I’m poor, I’m broke, but I’m just fine.”
You know how the world and its mother insists that they were at the Sex Pistols gig decades and decades ago at the Lesser Free Trade Hall? Well, tonight at The Deaf Institute, Amyl and The Sniffers gave off that feeling- this was a gig that EVERYONE wanted to be at. I feel bad for those who didn’t see that their set was at half 8, and walked in just as their show was coming to an end.
I was right at the back, but I saw it all. I was right at the back and not near speakers, but I can’t hear properly. That alone makes it a brilliant show. As someone who has panic attacks a fair amount, I was convinced this would be the reason why I wouldn’t be able to make the show tonight. But I went. No hint of anxiety was there, and amongst a room full of sweaty strangers- I felt safe. I was in my own world. I needed this. I needed to witness this beautiful form of chaos and see a band that I absolutely adore, for the first time.
The first thing I want to talk about is their cover of Deceptacon by Le Tigre. A song that is just obviously one of the best. Le Tigre mean a lot to me, anything Kathleen Hanna does means a lot to me. She’s a fucking goddess, and seeing Amyl and The Sniffers put this song in their set tonight gave me that feeling I got when I first heard Kathleen Hanna’s voice.
The first thing you notice about Amyl and The Sniffers is their energy. If you’re feeling a bit shitty, go to one of their shows or just listen to their music. It’ll do something to you that nothing else will. This gig tonight was truly something else, and I don’t think any band has ever ripped The Deaf Institute apart like this before. There was a mosh pit immediately, Amy stage dived a few times, she handed the mic around to the crowd (one lucky person made it on stage to sing with her for a few seconds before security clocked on.) It was a show that made you feel some type of way. It made you feel alive, and I know that sounds so corny but it really gave you that intense feeling. I love how Amy has this massive grin on her face the whole time. You can tell that they all love playing shows so much, and it truly shows on their faces and the way they all play with this strong and united energy, which flows right into the crowd instantly.
70s Street Munchies was one of my many highlights. It’s easily my favourite song by them, but seeing it live just hyped the song up even more for me. I love how Amyl and The Sniffers are such a strong Punk band yet they don’t make it feel clichéd or make it sound like something we’ve all heard before. They’re doing it their way, and it’s nothing short of perfect. Westgate and Mole (Sniff Sniff) were intense and brilliant. New songs like Monsoon Rock were incredible. Monsoon Rock has this really brutal intro, it’s incredible. I’m Not A Loser and Stole My Push Bike saw everyone go totally nuts and lose their shit. I loved, LOVED Balaclava Lover Boogie so much. I love how this song has this almost Funk rhythm to it- for me, Amy’s vocals on this are my favourite, easily. She has this way of screaming the songs at you but they do not have any hints of intimidation to it. You listen. You listen intensely, and shout the words back. You cannot take your eyes off the band, they are all just a sheer joy to watch, and will leave you wishing, “I wish I could do that.”
They may have only been making music together for a couple of years, but if you heard them and knew nothing about them- you’d have thought that they have been together for decades and are either as band that spilled out of New York in the 70s, or were part of the Riot Grrrl movement in the 90s. What I’m getting at is basically, they take everything I am in love with about music and just blow your mind. They’re like the Ramones meets Bikini Kill, but at the same time they are just unlike anything else.
On record they blow your mind, but live they absolutely burst your eardrums. Tonight’s show in Manchester was nothing short of rambunctious joy. Nobody was stood still at this show; as soon as the band came on stage there was this glorious roar in the crowd, and that energy went straight into the band.
Of all the shows I’ve been to, I really don’t think I’ve seen this much energy in a room before. I hope some people who were there left wanting to start their own band or movement. The atmosphere was nothing less than what I’d expect from a Manchester crowd. They’re the best crowd, always. There was just so much love and respect in the room, and it just added to the beauty of the show.
I really cannot praise Amyl and The Sniffers enough, and something tells me that this will not be the last time I go see this band. They leave you wishing you could be at their shows every night because sometimes, you just need that raw and rowdy feel from a show. They give you it, and a hell of a lot more. Drinks flew, items of clothing ended up on stage and hearing was probably lost by most of us. A memorable show, for sure.
Go see them. Stand at the back and soak up the atmosphere, or go right into the depths of the crowd and throw your body around with everyone else. Wherever you are, you’ll just feel part of this truly mind-blowing experience, and you’ll probably compare everything else you listen to or any show you go to, to them.