There’s something wonderful about venues that simply aren’t meant to be used to hold a gig. Take upstairs at Kro Bar Manchester for instance – it looks like someone’s front room and, thus, each andf every gig there takes on it’s own unique charm. Fuel Café Bar is another one – the odd, L-shaped room meaning that the bands have acres of room and the fans have to cram into the back, almost out of view. Downstairs at The Bay Horse pub in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is no different. Feeling and looking like someone’s basement, Nodzzz gig took on the feeling of an underground show, as seating and pool tables were pushed to the side to allow the band to takke a slightly awkwardly placed centre stage.
Egyptian Hip Hop had to pull out thanks to illmess, though Waiters proved more than worthy replacements. or probably did, anyway – Buses meant that i missed their set, but judging by a performance with Trash Kit a few weeks ago, it’s highly likely they were excellent. Male Bonding were main support and almost stole the show. Their live performance is based around their outrageously talented drummer, and their brand of grungey, noise rock is definitely best experienced in the flesh. The 40 or so people in attendence seemed to enjoy it, at least, and it’s hard not to feel some flame of enjoyment when you”re watching a grown man in a Mickey mouse t-shirt let loose on a drumkit. Expect big things now they’re signed to Sub Pop.
Nodzzz were everything that you’d expect from a sundrenched garage punk band on the penultimate night of a european tour – short, sharp, punchy and extremely enjoyable. Inbetween talking up the pros of shoe shopping at Primark (“£3.50 a pair? Are you kidding me? We got 5 pairs”) and debating drinking etiquette, the band pumped out their trademark, sub-2 minute pop songs and seemed to genuinely forge some kind of connection with the crowd. Even my girlfriend, who’d unfavourably compared them to Weezer(?!?) at the start of the evening, said she’d enjoyed herself. Hopefully they’ll be touring again soon, and hopefully at another awkward venue.