You know how you have your preferred music venues and your jaunts, which you would like to avoid at all costs? Well, tonight is one of those nights where it takes a special band to convince me to go to Moho. I could go on a rant right now, but I’d rather spend the rest of this word count on the real star of the night: Missing Andy.
Hailing from Essex, the five piece has visited Manchester a few times before, but it wasn’t until after a friend’s recommendation and their debut album, Generation Silenced, landed on my desk that I took notice.
Though the support had already been on, the venue was still relatively quiet. During the wait, I overheard a punter stating she found out about the band because of the riots. Whilst their songs carry a powerful political sub text, I’m not too sure whether this is something the band want to be associated with. But considering the title Generation Silenced, you could argue they do speak for an unheard generation, which is what the riots seemed to portray. Anyway.
The band kicks off their set with Kings For The Weekend. This anthem about living for the weekend immediately showcases their insanely catchy songwriting and though the sound of the P.A. lacks the punch to support them, their stage energy compensates straight away. With personal favorite Indiekid next, it’s another hit to get the crowd going, which they politely respond to. The The Streets reminiscent spoken word verse in the song is drenched in irony and pokes fun at the ‘indie-scene’ with all the necessary stereotypes such as tight skinny jeans and a girl’s haircut included. Heartbeat Away pays tribute to their obvious Clash and Madness influences and lead singer Alex Greave seems to have taken note of some of Ian Curtis’ trademark moves. The synergy between the band shows how tight and experienced they are.
If you have heard their songs before, you are aware of their political stance. But when Alex’ announces that the next song is for our troops, the audience claps in unison to Rain On My Parade. With powerful background harmonies, it’s incredible to see how such a radio ready song can carry such meaning compared to what is out there on the airwaves at the moment. Next up is Money, which could have easily been on a Plan B record, though I’m doubtful it would have been as catchy as it is. With the verse carrying a heavy resemblance to The Sonics’ classic Have Love Will Travel, their influences become apparent again, but as they manage to throw everything into a modern-day mix, it’s the perfect combination of classic songwriting to current topics as it’s turned into something new.
Scum points to the stereotyping of a certain layer of society that the media still holds so dear and could almost be seen as a celebration of the ignorance towards their struggles. With an older song such as Sunshine following in an acoustic intermission, the band give their older fans a chance to join in and show their dedication to the cause. To bring the pace back up, they kick into My Name Is Dave. Probably the funniest song lyrically as it tells the story of a girl with speech impediments who called the bands guitarist Steve Dave all night long. With the crowd skanking away, it shows that these lads are definitely ready for bigger things. Though I’ve only heard this tune once before, I catch myself singing along to the chorus immediately.
Final song of the set is Made in England, which featured on the drama series Made in England and got the band noticed by the mainstream. As this gets the biggest sing along of the night, a thought pops into my mind that this would be the perfect anthem for this summers Olympics. It’s the bands tribute to the country they love and what makes England England. As they return for their encore they finish things off with a cover of Madness’ Baggy Trousers and pandemonium commences.
As the band leave the stage, we are left behind with sore ankles and a definite thirst for more. Every festival in the country should give them a chance to do the same to a large crowd in a sunny field, because anything less than that would be an insult.
Generation Silenced is out now.