False Advertising

False Advertising


Being a music fan in Manchester is the gift that keeps on giving. Quite apart from the treasure trove of gig venues that we have the fortune to frequent on a regular basis, every now and then a new place will pop into your schedule. The newest addition to my roster is Dive NQ, a revamped establishment on the site of the old Moho Live on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter.

The place opened in late 2015, but this was my first opportunity to catch a band there. They would be the first to admit that they do not consider themselves to be a gig venue first and foremost, but the makeshift stage in the main bar area creates an intimate atmosphere for bands to play. It takes you back to teenage ‘battle of the bands’ days, where it was hard at first glance to tell which people were in the band and which were just watching.

Top of the bill tonight are False Advertising. This is my third time seeing the local band in the last year, and each time has been a triumph. By now, I am used to the nature of their gigs – they are split into three sections, with Jen Hingley taking frontwoman duties and Chris Warr on drums for the first and third parts, and the two swapping for the middle third. It’s a system that works a treat for them at this stage, giving two (slightly) different sides of the band their fair moment to shine.

The Hingley-led portions tend to be the spikier, punkier parts of the night, and with opener ‘Breaker’ from their 2015 debut album, that theory is immediately confirmed. The Dive NQ speakers are disarmingly loud, especially if your ear happens to be pressed by one of them, as mine is. The packed bar area even seem a little taken aback by the volume at first, before embracing the mayhem. 2016 songs ‘Alopecia’ and ‘Scars’ ride the wave confidently – few of their contemporaries maintain their cool whilst clearly having a blast quite so well.

The meat in the sandwich of the False Advertising gig model is led by the swampier guitar of Chris Warr. His time at the front of stage changes the mood somewhat, with the breakneck pace calming slightly, in favour of a darker, more splenetic energy. ‘Piece of My Mind’ and ‘I Don’t Know’ are the night’s heaviest tracks, muscular and pouting. It produces the deepest swinging head nodding of the set – more bowing than nodding in many cases.

They save perhaps their two biggest songs for the close of Hingley’s second section. ‘Wasted Away’ boasts the most infectious hook of their catalogue so far, a riot grrrl-inspired 90s shouter that fizzes live. Set closer ‘Dozer’, which for many people was their first exposure to the band, is a loud-quiet track that could be an early Nirvana song – it brings the house down. If every night in Dive NQ is this good, I’ll be getting to know it very well.

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Max Pilley

I'm a refugee in Manchester, having successfully escaped Birmingham in 2007. I'm a soon-to-be journalism student, used to edit the music section of the Manchester Uni paper, and have done a little radio production to boot. I've been adding bits and pieces to Silent Radio since 2012, mostly gig reviews, but a few albums too. Also hoping now to get involved with the brilliant radio show. When doing none of that, you can usually find me at some gig venue somewhere around town.