Entering the all too familiar Peer Hat basement, I learn this evening has something memorable and exclusive for all spectators present; acting on instinct, I forsake my typical rule of live reviews (to the detriment of my cellular battery). Taking the front compartment in this limited edition anthology packaging, Blanketman ease in with a familiar number (forgot the name) and once again demonstrate their strong, yet unpretentious live presence. Point of interest, the electric rhythm guitar is switched for an ‘acoustic’ guitar; it adds a softer texture, like a busking hobo (with holes in his shoes) venturing into a Denmark Street guitar shop, only to repeatedly leave and re-enter whenever the electric guitar is reequipped in its stead.

A polite refusal to perform the ‘Long Arm of Entrapment’ leads into paisley musings, a bleeding of the nose, a song about not being able to write a song without a person being present and older material that holds up (aviation observations or the dangers of international terrorism?) further cultivates the growing instrumental floodplain I allegorically attribute to them once more.

Pagans S.O.H

Next in line come heathen invaders from the Midlands, seemingly connecting the dots between funk and metal (premature perhaps?) that certainly catch me by surprise. The vocalist’s delivery style demonstrates an effective and swift flow (rap terminology is a subject I would deem unfamiliar) while showcasing interesting vocal intonations and a particularly robust low range.

Instrumentally a dynamic structure, they just about get the audience into a groove-orientated chokehold all the while undertaking some impressive soloing and rhythm (debut gig I believe for bass-provider?) which certainly warm me to a style I wouldn’t normally listen to. Lyrics about not wanting to work into old age and the yellow fruit itself do make me wonder what this non-Abrahamic entity is about, but either way, they pull off a respectable Manchester debut.

Chupa Cabra

Despite a personal request to give a bad review from one half of their rhythm section, I opted to refrain until I had seen what they had to offer. The notion that a 3-piece is too constrained to have any kind of an impetuous impact on the audience is placed in the stupid suggestions ballot (located in No. 10’s waiting lounge) as the guitar’s aggressive power chording approach runs the risk of fuse box short circuitry, the drumming’s inarticulate concussions riveting the tympanic membranes of all present and the assault weapon grasping method of the bass playing acts as a hastily built cobbled pathway for the dysfunctional horse-cart I have decided to use as analogy for the other members.

The almost despairing tone of the vocals venting about topics such as death rattles and plastic jars (I wouldn’t place any on a shelf in this case) captures a non-conformist (lay her eggs in it?), grabbing a great quantity of office supplies and stuffing them into an underequipped shredder quality; the moderate disregard for their instruments and slight (against each other) confrontational stage dynamics enlist from myself a metaphorical nod of approval.


Much like that room beneath the House of Lords (around the mid 17th century), it appears after 3 successive (and concussive) bands that the fabled basement is rigged to blow. Of course I mean that as a figure of speech: you wouldn’t take the ill-considered decision of waiting around for a single launch while a Snidely Whiplash-type villain lit a match destined to liquidate your physical being… would you? Nice.

In keeping with the sonic triangle theme of their approach, the (uh oh) Tinfoils render any noise complains void as they charge through their set and once again confuse me as to when their songs start and end (maybe it’s secret prog?), energetically grabbing the abstract Olympic torch carried through the evening and just about aim to land it on an unnamed peak (Mount Manchester?). They showcase new material (in spite of a drumming-related mishap) that indicates a venture into murkier territory, as if the garage was now being partially submerged by an overflowing river.

Noting the commotion of activity near the front, I myself dive into an emerging pit, taking no heed of note taking as I enjoy the warm thrill of confusion that is the unpleasant, sweat-laden gig-goers levying themselves against each other to the point of exhaustion. The esteemed anti-monarchist hymn (complete with the Prince Harry-masked stage invader) yanks the zeitgeist and transcribes it into something that practically holds together like one of those colossal abodes everyone would like to steal from Lizzie herself.

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Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.