No matter what genres of music you like to think you are generally affiliated to, some bands are just so good at what they do, it’s impossible to ignore them. I admit that the world of Indie folk isn’t something that I’ve been delving into of late, so I once again have 4AD to thank for bringing Daughter to my attention. Let’s not beat around the bush here – this was a sensational gig. It was one of those nights where everything just clicked perfectly into place. My concerns before this evening were that the new material was not quite as strong as on their outstanding debut album ‘If You Leave’. ‘Not To Disappear’ has only been available for a week and it’s growing on me, but this gig was such a success, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d written the new material to intentionally compliment their previous work.

Daughter have only just started touring their second album, and they’ve filled this spacious and grand Grade II listed Wesleyan chapel with attentive, passionate and adoring fans. During the quieter moments in the songs (of which there are many) there is complete silence. My concern before this evening was that I would struggle, as with most gigs, to hear the lyrics. So much of this band’s success is due to what Elena Tonra has to say, and how she says it. I can honestly say I have never heard live vocals in such crystal clear clarity, as this.

After the intro and the following applause, Elena adheres herself to the crowd further by rather timidly thanking everyone for coming. A quarter of us audibly sigh as if they’d just fallen in love. ‘Tomorrow’ is a personal favourite and an early highlight, followed by new ones ‘Numbers’ and ‘Alone/With You’. The don’t feel the lyrics are as successful as the older material, but the instrument arrangements add plenty of oomph when needed.

‘Amsterdam’ causes shivers down the spine during the pause. You feel as though it’s just you in the room with the band – it’s very easy to become absorbed. ‘Animal’ adds some steel with Igor Haefeli’s growling guitar and Remi Aguilella’s un-padded drumsticks working towards a heady crescendo. ‘Doing The Right Thing’ is possibly the most successful new song, tonight. Anything that’s stripped back with just Elenas voice and a few choice chords mesmerises the entire crowd.

The undoubted highlight is the hauntingly beautiful ‘Smother’, after which many can be seen wiping tears from their eyes. A perfect followup is my favourite from the new album, ‘New Ways’, which starts in a somber mood and then gently lifts our spirits. Following this, many sing along to ‘Youth’ as if offering Elena moral support, letting her know we’re there for her. There’s an enormous sense of togetherness in here. The cheers between songs visibly move the band, who appear overwhelmed with the response. Daughter are indeed masters in the art of expressing deep emotion, and the crowd do their very best to communicate their appreciation, in return.

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Peter Rea

I like to go see fresh new music at Manchester's superb selection of smaller venues, and then share my enthusiasm.