GHUM: The Deaf Institute, Manchester 17th January 2023.

I’ve been lucky enough to see GHUM three times now, and I can 100% confirm and swear on my cat’s life that they just get better every single time. Their debut record is one I religiously play every single day. The atmosphere, the sound, the emotion- everything on this record is divine. So of course, they are going to channel this perfectly live, right? Of course!

On Tuesday night they supported Big Joanie at the Deaf Institute- a venue perfect for their sound. The first time they played Manchester was at the hottest venue in the history of venues- The Castle Hotel. How no one passed out from heat stroke that night I don’t understand. They played Fac251 last month and that too was exceptional. The Manchester show was something else. With it being a support slot, the setlist wasn’t as long as you’d hope for but what they gave us perfectly showed us why they are one of the best bands around- on record and live.

This was the last night of the tour and to make it even tougher- it was Vicki’s last show with the band. Whether you’ve seen them live or listened to the record- you will know just how an incredible drummer Vicki is. She is going to be missed a hell of a lot, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Whoever they have next on drums will be so lucky to play alongside such incredible musicians and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

As I’ve said many times before when writing about GHUM- they just have this sound that blows you away. For so many on Tuesday evening, this may have been their first time seeing the band and judging by how the crowd reacted to the songs- I think they have definitely got a new bunch of fans behind them. They are the kind of band that make you wish you were in a band but at the same time- you just want to spend your days constantly at their shows. They have this magical sound that truly comes alive when you’re at their show. The songs take on a more powerful meaning and start to mean more to you with every listen, and every performance. They put so much of themselves into their shows, and it’s just an honor to watch them and see them grow and grow.

Songs like Perro, Rivers and Some People are blasted out and are performed in a way that makes you feel like this is life or death- you feel on edge in the most wonderful way possible. GHUM have this way of taking you into this strange, dark and gorgeous world where no other band has ever dared to. You can’t help but let them suck you in. Over and over. The sheer intensity in every song is just divine. Laura has this gravelly tone in her voice and this strength (and it’s apparent in certain songs) and you feel that she belts out every single word the way she NEEDS you to hear them. Backed up by Vicki beating the shit out of the drums, MJ being the slickest bassist you’ll ever see and Jojo being the best guitarist in this country- it is obvious that GHUM are the most thrilling band around and you can see why a band like Big Joanie took them on for the ride during this tour. The power both bands have is insane and something that doesn’t happen all too often. These bands are rare. They are important and will take you off into their own world where whatever you see outside of your window doesn’t matter in those moments.

For me, GHUM have that Seventeen Seconds (The Cure) energy in every single song- the hypnotic sounds and eerie vocals, and the poetic lyrics. I honestly don’t think really small venues are going to be able to contain them for much longer and the show on Tuesday captured that perfectly. Nobody stood still and all was okay in the world during those 30/40 minutes.

THE BATTERY FARM: Flies.

I’ve been listening to The Battery Farm’s debut record for well over a month. I had something written, but I kept going back to it. Over and over. Then I decided to delete it and start again. Everything I wrote was done in haste and a record like Flies deserves so much more.

The record has been years in the making. It is a labour of love. It is blood, sweat, tears and fears. It’s brutal and gentle. It is vital. It’s the heartbeat of society. It’s one of the most important records of the year. Bands like this are rare and when you find them, my god you love them. Everything they release will always leave you in awe. You’ll feel every emotion possible when you listen to this record. There is hope on this record and there’s also despair. There’s fear and uncertainty but there’s also fight and determination.

From the title track/intro through to In The Belly Of The Beast and right into Everything Will Be Okay. The whole record is just a firepit of hard work and passion. There are zero compromises on this record; it’ll make you feel less alone. It’ll make you take every ugly feeling you own and make into something worth feeling and carrying around. That weight on your back will feel lighter once you’ve played this record. It truly hits you on the opener FLIES. The way in which Ben’s vocals sound possessed is just out of this world. That fury and passion is throughout the whole record from all of them.

The more I play this record, the more I’m in awe of the band. There is no bad song on this record but I wouldn’t go looking for that anyway. Every single song has the potential to be screamed loud in stadiums but screaming the songs back in small sweaty venues holds the same amount of power- if not more! It’s a proper Northern record. A band from anywhere else could not make a record like this- this record is Manchester and it makes me proud to call this city home. Wooden Spoon Number is euphoric. I mean the whole record is, but this one stands out at the moment for me.

Everything Will Be Okay will rip you apart. I struggle to listen to this one just because of how close to the bone it is. It’s so beautiful and vulnerable. If you’ve made it this far in the record without crying- this will be the one that breaks you. I’ve had to stop writing a few times to pull myself together listening to this, but it’s fine to not have it all together isn’t it. Why does it matter if you do or don’t? It’s such a reassuring song and the way you feel like the band are singing this to you and only you is so powerful. I wonder if they know how influential they are? Honestly, this is the kind of record I hope some lost kid in school finds and finds the band that speak to them, and they find their way. Maybe they’ll be a writer, maybe they’ll form a band- but this band will be the root of their influence. You can’t listen to this record and not be moved to do something. Anything.

The second half of the record (Poet Boy onwards) is loud. Unapologetically loud. The whole record is but it goes up a level on the second half. You can’t help but be stopped in your tracks like, “okay this is serious now. Really serious.” Honestly, they just know how to make songs that steal a part of your soul and become like the blood in your veins. I’m basically giving you all the descriptions of how important the band are and how their words are just so vital. I can’t think of another band who are creating music like this.

DisdainGain is a proper teeth kicker. Don’t play this if you’re scared of every losing your hearing. Bloody hell! The way this goes right into it is just insane. INSANE. It’s one of my favourites. I change my mind with every listen but this one is constant. I love the rage in the song. The rage in every element of the song- not just the vocals. Everything feels like a protest on this song and it’s unreal. I adore it. I love the unfiltered rage on this song. If any song sums up what the band are about- it might just be this one. I Am A Man shows vulnerability and stigma around men talking about their mental health. No one should ever (regardless of gender) feel like they can’t talk about how they feel. But unfortunately, it happens. I hope someone hears this and it gives them what they need to find the strength to just speak out and speak up about what’s going on.

Flies is a poetic Punk record from the gutter and poured into the universe for everyone to listen to. Everyone to pay attention to. To feel something, to stand for something and to not give up. This band are what we need. They just have something that stops you in your tracks, and before you know it- you’ve become obsessed. Nothing wrong with that.

I feel like there is more I could write about this record, but the main point is- this record is a lifeline. It’s urgent. It’s important. It’s what is needed right now. It’s what we’ve always needed. It goes beyond being a debut record. Way, way beyond.

THE VACANT LOTS: SOUP, Manchester 3rd December 2022.

Finally going back to SOUP to see a band I absolutely adore after a tiring week was just what I needed. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen The Vacant Lots live or how many times I’ve written about them. They are a band that I hold very dear to me- they’ve got me through hell and back. They just have something about them that makes you feel like you’ve escaped to another world. Music is there to be relatable and to give us some escapism.

The Vacant Lots open their set with the euphoric Departure.  This makes you feel like the band are about to guide you into their world with this one- the perfect way to open their set. Departure has such a soothing energy to it; it does make you feel like you’re ready for takeoff.

The set is a blissful mix of old and new- showing us exactly why they are one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. The set has all the greats; Mad Mary Jones, Fracture and 6AM, and the thing that just leaves you in awe is how talented Jared and Brian are. Brian is like s Scientist on stage and Jared is the Punk who holds the guitar like a weapon. No blood was shed this time (if you’ve seen them play live before, you’ll know what I mean!) The only downside was that the venue wasn’t packed. It rightfully should have been packed. It should have been a sweatbox, but those who were there evidently loved what they were witnessing.

I’ve got a handful of bands I could happily watch play live forever and not get bored of them- The Vacant Lots are one of them for sure. Every single time I’ve seen them play I’ve just been left in awe of what I’ve witnessed.

The way 6AM goes right into Mad Mary Jones was ridiculous. The whole set is slick, but this transition was something else. Noise after noise. My hearing right now isn’t great but I’m not bothered about it- you expect it from their shows. Especially if you stand by the speaker!

Never Satisfied is a prime example of Jared and Brian’s songs are sheer poetry with a bite. There’s parts of the set where Brian unleashes hell on the cymbal and drum, and Jared styles out annihilating the guitar in a way that you rarely witness. They take their turn in vocally delivering the songs, and the chemistry they have is evident on record and it’s truly something else when you see it live.

For me, The Vacant Lots are just exceptional live and the show tonight fully showed that. There may have been less than 20 of us in the room but they played their hearts out, and as if they were playing to a stadium full of people. That’s when you know a band truly have it. They’re just a pleasure to see live and if are ever given the chance to see them- take it.

GHUM: Fac251, Manchester 18th November 2022.

There are bands that you could watch live countless times, and you’ll never ever get sick of seeing them. Last night was only my second time seeing GHUM, and I think it was their second time playing Manchester (I might be wrong there, sorry if I am!) They played the legendary venue that is FAC251, and I can safely say that no other venue in town could have suited them more (maybe Soup Kitchen.)

GHUM’s debut record, Bitter came out in June this year and not a day goes by where I’m not playing it. It’s a perfect record, and a stunning debut. How does their live show favour? Exactly the same! GHUM are a band that you just have to see live. Their music was made to be witnessed in a live setting; especially in dark basement venues.

Although their set was cut short slightly- it did not change how amazing the gig was. Every single song was performed in a way that made to be heard in this setting. A small, intimate venue. Even if someone was being a bit overzealous with the smoke machine with the first few songs! Honestly, GHUM are a band that you know will keep getting better and better with whatever they do and whatever sound they have. Songs like California and Some People rip right through, Perro is electrifying live. Deceiver and Bitter was out of this world. Bad Brain is played with this fire and urgency that sticks with you well after the show is over. The whole set is an exploration of how and why they are one of the most exciting bands around. You cannot compare their live shows to anything else- it goes way beyond anything else you may feel from hearing them on record. They create this world that you just want to live in. This dark yet comforting world.

There’s this energy they all have that just lures you in, and every song they hit you with makes you feel like you are listening to them for the first time. For me they have got that same presence as the likes of TwoFiftyFour, Crows, L.A. Witch and Warpaint (basically just named bands I love and adore but y’know!) They make you wish you had even a tiny fraction of musical talent. GHUM are the best at what they do, and if you ever get the chance to see them live- you have GOT to take it. They make it seem so effortless. I mean Jojo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen, Vicki is one of those drummers that just leave you in awe and Marina is such a slick bassist. Laura’s vocals will stay with you- she’s got this gentle tone but when she delivers songs like 1000 Men; there’s this beautiful growl to it that just stuns you.

Like I said, this band are the best at what they do. Nothing and no one comes close. The venue may not have been totally sold out but that didn’t matter at all- they made you feel like it was just you and them. Nothing around you mattered. There was an older couple near me, and they were dancing and moving in ways that most of us could dream of. For me, they summed up the euphoria that live music gives you and that GHUM gives you.

There are bands that you discover over time that become a massive part of you. You look at your record collection, and you wonder what it’d be like if you never heard them. There’d be a gap for this band, but you’ve yet to find them. I hope that anyone who ever listens to GHUM or discovers them for the first time feels like they’ve found the missing piece to their music jigsaw. I’ve not been to many gigs this year, but I can definitely place last night’s show up there with one of the best. Compared to their show in Manchester from 2019, you can definitely see and hear the growth in confidence.

GHUM are an absolute joy to listen to and when you see them live, that joy quickly turns to euphoria. The kind of band that makes you want to disregard your daily responsibilities and just follow them on tour. Hopefully it won’t be 3 years before they next come back to Manchester, but it was most certainly worth the wait!

GRAVE GOODS: Tuesday. Nothing Exists.

This record came out just over a month ago, and I had something written in my drafts. Looked over it, and deleted it. How I felt about the record then and how I feel about it now is different. Not by much, but there’s a difference. This isn’t a bad thing; I’ve had the record on repeat and can safely say that it’s up there as being one of the most flawless and interesting records of the year. It’s everything you love about music, and more.

If you’ve never listened to Grave Goods before, then you are in for a treat with this record. Grave Goods are made up of members from three bands that I’m a huge fan of: PINS, Girls Names and September Girls. If you mix up their sound and influences, and style- then you’ve clearly got a perfect band haven’t you. This is such a fantastic record from that slick sounds to the way the vocals are delivered. It’s got so much excitement to it; there’s this pure thrill you get from every listen because every single listen feels like you are being exposed to something new every single time. I reckon the ideal setting to listen to this record is on the top deck of a double decker bus, in the pissing rain and watching the world go by.

These seven songs are powerful, and songs like Story are a perfect listen on a grey and rainy day in Manchester. The whole record is a huge comfort, and with just seven songs the band completely and utterly show you what they are made of. The songs are digs are what society expects, thoughts, feelings and unspoken narratives. It’s just a phenomenal record, and I honestly feel like it’s a record that just needs to be heard. There’s an urgency to this record that just gives you a kick up the arse.

Listening to this record full whack through headphones or in your room is such a great sensation. You can’t help but take in the lyrics- Miles is a perfect example of this. The storytelling on this is just divine; it’s dark and humorous. The whole record has a dark sound but the lyrics/vocals add this gentleness. It works so well. It’s a heavy record, but it’s done in such a way that leaves you in awe. That’s all there is to it really.

The record ends with Die, and although it’s probably a morbid title for some- it’s a bloody lively song. The last minute of this song is euphoric and it just makes you start the record all over again. That’s when you know you’ve found a record that’ll you keep going back to over and over. You’ll use it as a reference. You’ll compare everything you now hear to this. Every song on the record fits perfectly. They sound as if they are made for this moment and whatever Grave Goods create next will be another masterpiece like this. You just know don’t you, when you listen to a band, and you know that regardless of how much music they put out, it’ll always be mind-blowing. They evidently a band that could never ever make a shit record. They’ve got this ideal sound that I just want to constantly hear. I bloody love this record.

Tuesday. Nothing Exists. Not only is the title of the record great, but you know how Tuesdays are probably the most boring day of the week? This record adds excitement. Play this record every Tuesday on repeat to add some spice to your life. It’ll make waking up less exhausting.

THE BATTERY FARM: A Working Class Lad.

I have made my love for one of the finest bands from Manchester known many times. But this time, The Battery Farm have completely and utterly outdone themselves. Everything they have done to date has been nothing short of vital, ferocious, and delivered with this passion that you wish most bands would. A Working Class Lad towers above everything they have done to date. This is the kind of song that makes you want to pin down tory scum and blast this song in their ears. Imagine if they would listen. Imagine…. But until then, we have got bands like The Battery Farm who are beautifully expressing how difficult life is and how shit it’s going to get until people listen to us. There’s beauty in it all, and that is what they express so wonderfully.

The hook where Ben screams his lungs out is such a pivotal moment in the song, and every time he unleashes that distinctive bellow of his, you cannot help but scream back and let his voice absolutely destroy your eardrums in the most perfect way. It is one of the best songs he’s written so far. The man is a poet. A proper storyteller. This is song for those who understand how tough everything is right now and how the majority of us are struggling. The comradery in this song makes me so proud to call Manchester my home.

The bassline on this, mixed with THAT drumming is out of this world. The guitar is electrifying, and it adds extra bite to the vocals, and drills home the importance of the lyrics. Bands like The Battery Farm are rare, and that’s why it is SO important that we treasure them. They tell our stories; they release our furies. They’ve got courage, heart, and passion. They’ve got the wisdom that you wish you had, but in time, you’ll get there. If you’re looking for a real Punk anthem- this is it. This is totally it. It’s the song that you play when the world gets a little too much, and as soon as this kicks in- you’re reminded that someone out there fucking understands. This band are way ahead of their time. Or maybe we are all behind and need to catch up. Whichever way you look at it, this band are the future.

What I adore about the band is how they can take painful daily life topics and make them beautiful. They make everything relatable, and you know they mean every single word that comes out of their mouths. Their words are so important, and I don’t say this lightly. There is so much power in this song and it is really is the best thing they’ve done to date. Their debut record Flies is out in November, and I cannot wait to hear it. Going by the previous 8 singles they’ve released and now this single- I think it is pretty safe to say that it is going to be one of the most thrilling records of the year. Nothing will touch it. Nothing will come close to the sheer importance of it.

There is so much heart in this song, and the way every ounce of this anthem hits your mind, body and soul leaves you wanting more. You cannot help but play this on repeat. You cannot help but scream along. Thank god we have bands like The Battery Farm around. They unleash every feeling surrounding identity and the shame we sometimes feel. Sometimes that shame is thrown onto us from others, so we turn that shame into something that means something- Art. That’s what The Battery Farm have done here, and will always do. It’s in their blood. We need them.

They’re playing the Dublin Castle in London on the 2nd September and will then be back home to tear the roof off Gullivers on the 10th September. Go see them. Buy the record in November and let this band get out everything you feel you cannot.

You can check out their upcoming gigs here: https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/events

AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: Albert Hall, Manchester. 31st May 2022.

Of all the gigs I’ve ever been to at the Albert Hall, I can say with as much confidence as possible, that last night’s show courtesy of Bruise Control and Amyl and The Sniffers, was the best. From the atmosphere, to the sound to the bands, to the crowd. Everything about the bands last night and the crowd was just divine. I don’t think the Albert Hall will EVER see a show like this again.

This was the first time I’d ever seen Bruise Control live, and my god they made you feel like it was THEIR headline show. Give it time, and they’ll be playing venues like this all the time. The band had their family in the crowd and seeing the singer’s mum have the time of her life whilst singing and dancing her heart out to the phenomenal sounds her son’s band makes was just beautiful. Looking at the crowd and seeing so many people lose their shit to this band was everything we all needed and more. At one point Amy and Gus were stood behind me watching Bruise Control, and to see everyone in the room just lapping up this exceptional band was a sight to behold and treasure. You could see how much this meant to Bruise Control and those that adore them.

Around 9pm, Amyl and The Sniffers bounced onto the stage and immediately tore the roof off the Albert Hall. The energy from their set was an extension of what Bruise Control gave us. Punk music with a bold message and a sound loud enough to deafen you for days. As soon as they opened with GFY (Go Fuck Yourself) the crowd downstairs turned into a sea of bodies swaying, sweating and throwing themselves and each other around. In just 50 minutes, I can’t begin to tell you how many people were being pulled out of the crowd. One being Bruise Control’s singer- who I think was pulled out 5/6 times. To see everyone have this much fun and more importantly- being kind to each other when someone fell or wasn’t too steady was a true sentiment as to what Punk is.

The setlist was a healthy mix of old and new songs. So many songs were a highlight for me. Their performance of Maggot, Got You, Some Mutts and Security were INSANE. There were tamer moments, for instance the song Knifey, that showed a different side to Amy’s vocals. Yes, she belts those proper Punk anthems out, but on Knifey she tells the frustrations of just wanting to walk home peacefully without feeling threatened. She does it in a way that just simply explains the frustrations but delivers it in a way that breaks your heart.

The energy this band have is infectious. The crowd feed off them and vice versa. I saw Amyl and The Sniffers play their first Manchester show at the Deaf Institute a few years ago, and it blew my mind but last night’s show was something else. Maybe it’s because we’ve been waiting years for this or maybe it’s because seeing this band live is the most liberating feeling you’ll get. Amy bounces round the stage like the Duracell bunny who has had too many lemonades; at one point she takes a shirt thrown to her from the crowd and wraps it round her face, like a makeshift balaclava.  She also brings out the bodybuilder stance as well whilst Gus, Dec and Bryce deafen the crowd with their sound.

Every single song is screamed back at the band, and it is the most beautiful sound you’ll ever see. The band totally own the stage, and you can really feel the love they have for their fans, music and each other. The bond they have is just wonderful to watch and being able to see this is a real honour. Some songs are belted out louder than others- from the crowd; such as Guided by Angels, Hertz and Gacked on Anger. The whole set is perfect and I could have happily watched 12 hours of this. Bliss. Absolute bliss. You cannot help but want and need more.

You know how everyone claims to be at the Sex Pistols show at the Free Trade Hall, then went on to form bands? I’m pretty sure that the show at the Albert Hall will have the same impact. There is no way you could have attended the show last night and not been left with a fire in your tummy. Watching them last night, I felt like I did when I first Iggy Pop and The Stooges for the first time. Amy has the same effortlessly slick manners as Iggy on stage. Gus is one of those bassists that make you wish you were as cool as him. Bryce is up there as being one of the best drummers I’ve ever EVER seen live. Dec absolutely rips as a guitarist and controls the crowd effortlessly with his sound.

Two of the most exciting bands in the world ripped the Albert Hall a new one last night, and nothing and no one will ever be the same again.

Punk is not dead. It’ll never die.

BRUISE CONTROL

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT! The finest Punk band from Manchester will play to a sold out crowd at Manchester Albert Hall supporting Amyl And The Sniffers. Those stain glass windows are in for a shaking tonight- trust me! Probably tomorrow I’ll write about the show once my hearing comes back (thank god I’m off work until Saturday!) but for now, I’m going to tell YOU exactly why Bruise Control are the best around.

Are you looking for a band that’ll unleash all the fury you hold within you? Or maybe you just want to listen to something loud, raw and beautifully Northern? Thought so. Bruise Control are the band you need. They’re the only band you’ll ever need. I’m so excited to see them play a venue like Albert Hall tonight. Punk in old church? Wonderful! It doesn’t get any better than 2 bands you absolutely love playing a venue you love. I’ll tame my excitement for now to focus on writing about Bruise Control. Stick with me. If you can/want to.

If you’re into bands like Ruts DC, Black Flag, The Speedways and Stiff Richards- then chances are that you’re probably already a fan of our beloved Bruise Control. They are everything you could possibly want from a band and more. The lyrics will smack you right in the gut. The drums, bass and guitar will feel like an exorcism of the soul. The vocals will rid you of anything eating you. Basically, they are quite frankly the most important band right now. They are the kind of band you’d probably see in your local boozer on an evening ripping up the tiny stage in the corner with locals feeling a bit wary of what’s going on, but everyone will know that what they’ve seen is probably life-changing.

The mundaneness of daily life is wiped away with this band. They just absolutely rip, and I cannot stress enough just how exciting they are. Bruise Control are the kind of band that become obsessed with. There’s no other way. Going to one show, two shows- not enough. You’ll want to go to every show that they do.

Their debut 4 track EP came out just under 2 years ago, and that EP is the perfect introduction to the band but what you need to pay attention to is their slick cover of Sabotage by The Beastie Boys. It should be a crime how good their cover is. This band are just exceptional. Sometimes you just hear something, and you just know that what you’re hearing will leave a lasting impression. I hope some 13 year old kid hears this band eventually and is inspired to create their own noise- that’s how brilliant Bruise Control are. The urgency in the songs, the ferociousness in their sound is just divine. I don’t think I’ve heard a band play this fast in a while, and sometimes you just need to listen to something that makes you feel like you’ve downed about 10 Pro Plus tablets with an espresso.

What a band. Viva Manchester!

L.A. WITCH: The Pink Room @ Yes, Manchester 18th May 2022.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been right at the very front at a gig. And it’s been a long time since a gig left me a little bit deaf. God bless L.A. Witch for being one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to.

This show was meant to happen in 2020. We know what caused the delays, but last night the moment finally came.

I saw L.A. Witch play their first ever UK show when they played the Shacklewell Arms in London. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe that I was finally seeing them; I genuinely thought they would be one of those bands that I love that never find their way to the UK. I’ve been writing about the band since 2011, and they just blow my mind every single time. I adore their sound, and I love how they transport you into their world. A spooky but laid-back world. Sign me up! I never want to leave.

Last night, they played the Pink Room at Yes. The most important thing about this venue is that it has AIR CON. IT HAS AIR CON. You have no idea how important this is. The ultimate comfort. Let me be cold all of the time please, thank you.

L.A. Witch blast out all the hits. They tear the roof off with Untitled, Sexorexia, Dark Horse, Baby In Blue Jeans. They just kept the anthems coming. With a band like them, it’s difficult to work out who to focus on. Iritia is THE coolest bass player you’ll ever see. Ellie is up there with the greats on the drums- the sheer volume of the drumming was just incredible. Then you have their friend Lauren helping out on guitar who just looks and sounds effortlessly cool. Then Sade is front and center. The guitar is her machine gun. Her vocals are bullets the band look like they could probably knock you out, but we all know that they are just the loveliest and most beautiful humans around. I cannot compare their live shows to anything else in this world. It is like an outer body experience. I danced. My body hurt this morning when I woke up. The signs of a good night. There is so much passion and love in what they do, and how they play/their sound just makes you wish you were as cool as them. There’s no denying just how out of this world I Wanna Lose is live and you cannot help but just move your limbs and whatever else in ways that feel right to you.

L.A. Witch are most certainly one of the most dedicated and hard-working bands around. They seem to have been working and perfecting their sound for well over a decade, and in that time, they have played some amazing venues, toured with some excellent bands and won over plenty of new fans. The atmosphere in the room last night was gorgeous. This show was a long time coming, and let’s hope it won’t be too long for the next tour.

They ended on their enigmatic Get Lost, and the way this sounds like absolutely tops the recorded version. The distorted vocals, the reverb, the sheer loudness- everything.  It is just perfect and such a great way to end the set. They play the best modern day love song; Motorcycle Boy and you just feel like the band are taking you on a road trip on a dusty road into a world that only they know of. Kicking off the show, they played Kill My Baby Tonight which is such a great way to open the show. They could have opened with any song to be honest and it would have had us all hooked immediately. The heaviness in Kill My Baby Tonight stays through the whole set even on lighter songs like Baby In Blue Jeans. There’s this effortlessly slick feel to True Believers and Gen-Z. Your eyes don’t leave the stage at all, and sure they might be darting from one band member to another, but the admiration for them all is always there.

In an ideal world, I could afford to go to every single show they do wherever in the world. Even though they may not end up on this side of the world too often, you just treasure it even more so when it happens. There’s no denying that L.A. Witch will always be regarded as not only one of the best bands in the world ever, but most certainly one of the best bands you will ever see live.

WARPAINT: Albert Hall, Manchester 12/05/2022

If you’ve ever seen Warpaint live, then what I’m about to write will probably be old news to you. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written about Warpaint, that too will also be old news. But it doesn’t matter. My point with this is to just tell anyone who reads this how amazing the band are. On record it is obvious they are brilliant, but live? Well, that’s a different level altogether.

My love for Warpaint started when I first heard the Exquisite Corpse many many moons ago. I felt like I had found the band that I needed my whole life. Warpaint just make eveyrything better. They fill you with joy, love and hope. Their laid-back sound is utterly transformed in a live setting and it’s pretty much life-changing.

They open with Stars; which is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. The song soothes the soul. It calms you and makes you feel like all is okay. I can’t describe how euphoric this song is live, but to be honest with you- the whole set is sheer euphoria. The way Stars goes gently into Champion is too much! It should be a crime to be this good. There are so many moments during the set that just leave you in awe. I had to stop myself from crying many times. I felt complete happiness at this show, and I’ve not felt that way in a hell of a long time. But let’s not get too personal now. I think part of the joy I felt was down to how long I’ve waited to see them live again. The set was divine. I mean of course I’d be happy if they sang the alphabet for 5 hours straight but this set was just all I wanted and more. There was a strong mix of old and new songs.

My absolute favourite moment of the show was New Song going into Disco//Very. Those two songs makes me SO stupidly happy and to get them back to back in this way was like winning the lottery but way better. I was sat at the top (it was the VIP section and I felt so awkward sitting there but being able to watch the crowd move and sing their hearts out was so beautiful. The most beautiful crowd I’d ever seen!) Those two songs are wat heaven must sound like. You cannot help but watch the stage with such love and admiration. I adore how much they love each other, and this comes across every single time. The moment that really shows this is when all four of them stand at the front of the stage and sing Melting together. I’m pretty sure that’s how angels sing you know. As much as I love rowdy Punk shows, the balance I get from bands like Warpaint ease the mind. They are such a gentle band and without sounding like a cliched fool- they have never sounded better! The confidence is stunning. Emily’s vocals sound stronger than ever- this is evident on Hard To Tell You. She hits the high notes (I’m getting goose bumps writing about it!) and my god it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Pretty apt that they played an old church, right? This band have serious healing powers. Hard To Tell You is probably my favourite off the new record, and seeing it live was something else. I thought this would have been the one that made me proper bawl, but all I could do was soak up the moment and be in awe of Emily’s vocals.

At various parts of the show, you find yourself focusing on certain band members. Love Is To Die- you find yourself being in awe of Theresa’s vocals and presence. Like I mentioned already, Hard To Tell You leaves you fully engrossed with Emily’s voice. Jenny during Elephants and Beetles just blows your mind. Stella’s drumming on Disco//Very is just mind-blowing. These are just a couple of examples, but to be honest- the whole show just blew my mind. If I could live in a moment where I am constantly at a Warpaint show- I’d take it. I’m not sure how I’ve focused at work today because in my mind, body and soul- I’m at the show.

Something I’ve always admired about the band is how close they are. There’s this unity they have that makes you wish you were part of the band. I can’t really put into words what it’s like, but if you’ve seen them live- you’ll know exactly what I mean. Melting really summed this up. The way they stood round Emily as she played her iconic guitar, and they all created a different side to this song. I loved watching Jenny sway during every song. Her eyes closed as she sways to the music. There’s something about the sound like her bass makes that makes you instantly move just like her. Close your eyes and sway. The unbreakable bond they have is so beautiful to watch and you cannot help but smile like a total idiot whilst watching them.

Until next time, I’ll be keeping this show very close to my heart.