No matter how much time you spend lurking around it’s streets, it doesn’t take much for a city to become an awful, unforgiving maze. Manchester, with it’s sprawling developments and dodgy back roads, has miles of grey, industrial roads for you to walk about like a child in a supermarket, especially when you’re visiting something as tucked away as An Outlet. The bizarrely named coffee shop is fittingly the home of the new next big thing Wu Lyf, who throw a gig at the venue every month, and the mystique of this artily designed box-room is fitting for their sound.
For a band who look to be obsessed with controlling the flow of information to the public, it’s pretty much the ideal place. For a monthly clubnight, it’s somewhat bizarre. But despite the advertised £2 entry fee on the fliers, Some Drum I Never Would Hear have decided to open up it’s doors for free. Though it might not be a huge venue, it’s got a certain warmth and personality and the small clusters of people seem genuinely excited about the night ahead. Though the logistics of getting home mean that Elanor Lou and Electricity in our Homes will have to be missed, Boy or Bison are more than worthy of the trip out.
The slim margin of a stage means that the band have to line up, like naughty children against a wall, to play. Drum kit dead centre, it’s fittingly symobolic of the sound they make live, with the rhythm section the meat of their sound, utilising their thumping basslines as the foundations on which guitarist Dominic can layer his relaxed, surf-rock tinged riffs. The fact that the band can get away with tuning up between songs as the set opens is a testament to how well they perform, but in their own unique, ramshackle way. Their charm is in how they seem to be able to tiptoe, teetering on the edge of falling apart but having the ability to bring it back with ease.
Clearly, Boy or Bison haven’t yet got into their stride, but there are enough bands out there who are primed and oiled to perfection and whilst the band have the songs to back it up, you may as well bask in the glorious, fuzzy glow of their noise. Spider man is a highlight, but the superb, anthemic ‘Loose Women’ that ends the show is a real crowd pleaser. Though the numbers in an outlet are in the tens rather than the hundreds, with a few good support slots coming up (including an amazing line-up with Best Coast later in the week), there should certainly be a lot less space in An Outlet next time they visit.
Boy or Bison – Make me go
Boy or Bison – Spiderman