Soup Kitchen is heaving tonight. That’s because we are about to watch Girlpool, the surprise package of 2015 who have inspired support from nearly every blog and quarter going, despite comprising of just two women with two guitars.

This hype may seem perplexing to many, as unlike the breakthrough acts of the last few years, see FKA Twigs, Girlpool pose very few challenges to their listeners and create songs which define the word simplicity. But in the wake of Pussy Riot’s incarceration and their world-renowned balaclavas, this hard-hitting, all-out women attack may just be what people are looking for.

That girl power is present immediately with Cleo Tucker, the one with the crazy hair, standing legs astride next to her bandmate Harmony Tividad; a name whose irony you cannot miss. The shrill voices of these LA teenagers soon sound above their frenetic guitar, as they tell us fatedly, ‘your pain is an endless cycle’.  Riffs are central to their sound, as are incorporating a wave of genres from scream to punk to the blues.

Shrill guitar solos soon ring out, before Cleo brands Soup Kitchen ‘super tight’; a theme of the night with a few heady Mancunians cracking up every time the girls come out with an overly American phrase. ‘Chinatown’, the bands upcoming single, sees the girls break from singing in unison to stand up alone, but I think we are all agreed that these two are just better together.

‘Cherrypicking’ sees the band reduce the sound of their often overbearing vocals for the best song of the night, but sadly in sync with most of their performance they end it with a yell and a scream. ‘Jane’ is catchier but it soon appears that the screams are never far away, enveloping us in this ceaseless nightmare.

From tonight’s showing, Girlpool are definitely marmite and sadly I waive on the side of those who would shut this jar of marmite away at the back of the cupboard, just like on that controversial advert. Despite, Marmite not being a sauce you would usually put on American burgers, there is an unmissable link with this thought and the words from the support act Francis Lung earlier, who claimed ‘there are too many American restaurants in Manchester’.  And, for me this was simply another American overload on our city which was just, well, too American.

Their voices, at times, remind me of the disturbing sounds once spurted out by the likes of Sum 41 and Blink 182, when we were all teenagers lost in a musical world far too big for us. Whether a weakness in myself or not, I just found tonight annoying.  However, I am definitely in the minority, with every song greeted by a cheer and some looking as if they are the only musicians ever to give a voice to their feelings. They clearly have something; I’m just not sure what it is.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.