In a city obsessed with past glories, it’s been a strange few days for Manchester’s nightlife. First, the Monday night staple of Up The Racket appears to have been abandoned after 6 glorious years, whilst Sex with Robots has called time on it’s time in the city. In the time that the two have been around, a lot has changed within the city – not least the opening of FAC251 opposite UTR’s spiritual home of Joshua Brooks – and the city’s music scene looks a lot healthier than back in 2004. For one, the variety of venues around the centre is enormous compared to only a few years ago, with The Deaf Institute now holding a monopoly on the best gigs, meaning that Jabez Clegg mercifully rarely gets a look in anymore.
Down in Fallowfield, The Corner has been holding a little revolution all of it’s own, though. Earlier this week it played host to the inaugural Douche Fest ’08, giving up it’s awkward stage for the most exciting talent from an emerging DIY scene. Though wayward time keeping and ridiculous bus companies kept me from going, the line-up still serves as a guide for what’s great in Manchester at the moment, with the ever-present Mazes headlining and D/R/U/G/S, Hyacinth Girl and Dinner Party in support, it’s the kind of show that will keep me awake at night in years to come, wondering why on earth I didn’t get there three hours early, just in case. Brown Brogues would’ve definitely be worth standing alone outside a venue in Fallowfield for.
The project of two brothers, Mark and Ben Vega, the brilliance of the tracks on their myspace is beyond ridiculous. It’s certainly noise rock, but not in the traditional sense – there’s a lot in common with some of Magik Marker’s work, but on the faster numbers you can see the signs of a harder, angrier No Age. There’s a slow, menacing quality to their tracks, each and every strum measured and delivered with this sense of foreboding. There’s fuzz all over the vocals, but compared to these visceral tracks, the whole lo-fi pop genre sounds positively twee. Whilst two pieces like Japandroids seem intent on making up for their relatively sparse set-up by making as much noise as possible, Brown Brogues are happy to let the space in between add to the creeping atmosphere of their songs. Word has it that they’ve already put out an EP entitled ‘Nobody Dies in Paris’, but there are sadly no links with which to get it online. However, in the only recorded instance of MySpace being useful this century, the duo appear to have teamed up with The Graveyard Shift to put together some new tracks, whilst another set at The Corner (this time supporting Harlem) is due on the 13th.
Brown Brogues – Treet U Beta [download]
Brown Brogues – Leather Pushers (demo)