Monday, 20 April 2015

Gig Review: Manchester Punk Festival - Day One 17/4/15

After weeks of excited anticipation what promised to be one of the most memorable weekends of the year was finally here. The very best of the UK's amazing punk rock scene were descending of Manchester for the first ever Manchester Punk Festival.

There were two gigs happening on the opening night of the festival, 2 Sick Monkeys were headlining at The Ducie Bridge and Creeper were headlining at the festivals main venue Sound Control. I decided to to hang out at Sound Control to get a feel for the place where I would be spending most of my weekend and to check out some of the young up and comers in the scene.

Simmer were the band tasked with opening the festival. A nicely sized crowd arrived early to see the Cheshire based four piece. The festival program describes them as “ambient punk” which is far better than my initial attempt at describing their sound as spaced out emo. It's great to see a band trying to do something different and interesting with the punk sound.

Next up were one of the scenes most hotly tipped bands, Boston Manor. I really enjoyed these guys set of energetic pop punk. They played with a confidence of a band much older than them, the enthusiasm and passion for the music they play really shone through and was very infectious. At multiple times during their set I found myself wanting to sing along despite not knowing any of the words. Great Stuff!

Another band that played with a lot of enthusiasm and passion were Hindsights. Much like Boston Manor they played pop punk music but they utilized two singers, keeping the songs sounding fresh and varied, is really enjoyed this. Then there was bass player Miles who was something else. It was very hard not to watch him on stage, endlessly bouncing around, permanently with a huge grin on his face it was hard not to smile along with him. It was absolutely fantastic to see someone so fully immersed in what they are doing. If Hindsights play anywhere near you I suggest checking them out, fantastic live band.

Finally it was time for Southampton's Creeper. It's hard to believe that these guys have only been together for just over a year and they are already headlining a festival. Taking to the stage to the Casper The Friendly Ghost theme tune Creeper stormed through songs from their fantastic debut EP as well as a brand new song and a cover of an AFI song Creeper showed just why they are rising so quickly in the whole of the UK's alternative music scene and not just the world of punk rock. Of course front man Will was again the star of the show , performing with a theatricality that had the whole crowds undivided attention. I can't wait for Creeper to put out their debut full length, expect them to explode when they do.

I really enjoyed the opening night of the festival. Sound Control showcased some of the best new bands in the punk scene,which currently seems like an endless conveyor belt of new talent coming through. If the opening night of the festival was this good I knew that I was in for a treat the next day.

 Now listening to When I Thought I Was A Boy I Thought I Was A Fish by The Smith Street Band

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