Demob Happy Photo: Peter Rea

Demob Happy Photo: Peter Rea


It’s a stormy Monday night, but shelter and warmth from the high winds and incessant rain has kindly been provided tonight by Manchester’s renowned basement rock venue. Intrepid, die hard music fans huddle around the stage, eager to hear the next big thing, while trying to shake off their weekend hangovers.

Bull In The Whisky Shop start things early doors, offering a woozy 80’s psychedelic amalgamation of sounds. Jack White inspired duo Duke Mercury crank up the volume to help shake off the rain, and then it’s over to Purple, who must be suffering the most in this weather, since they’re from Texas.

Guess what colour the lead guitarist of Purple’s guitar is? It’s pink. Taylor Busby also draws from Jack White through his vocals, but their not-so-secret weapon adds plenty of depth to their sound, and a touch of No Doubt – In case we had failed to notice the energetic peroxide blonde drummer/singer Hanna Brewer, she leans forward through her equipment to stick out her tongue and scream at the man who’s unashamedly filming her with 2 cameras at the same time. She then takes off her top. Guess what colour her bra is?… it’s pink.

‘Wallflower’ is one of the highlights in their very loud and engaging set. Bassist Tyler Smith picks a fight with Taylor, clashing guitars in a wrestling match of sorts (while they play on), resulting in Taylor continuing the rest of the tune from the floor.

Other highlight’s include ‘Thirteen’, and a song where (I think) they invite us to get inside their Minivan. When they’re at their loudest and are screaming at us, they impress most. Tyler hurdles the bar at the front of the stage and gets in our faces during the finale. Apparently, his sweaty underwear will be available to buy from the merch stall.

Brighton/Newcastle four piece Demob Happy are the reason I’ve braved the weather tonight, and they don’t let me down. Little information is provided online by the band – their Facebook say’s the band members are called BarRenToMatt, and their Twitter has one tweet that says “#fucktwitter”.

Opener ‘Suffer You’, like most of their work, has an irresistible and frenetic verse that’s followed by a slower chorus – but the tunes from their ‘Young and Numb’ EP stand out the most in this set, which ebbs and flows from QOTSA to Nirvana, and provides enough unpredictable twists and turns to make the sound their own. ‘Fizz’ shows us that a verse can be just as catchy as the chorus – ‘Milk Parlour’ starts like an early Kings of Leon tune (you know… when they were good) “I’m tired, so tired”, they don’t sound it. They cover Technohead’s ‘I Want To Be A Hippy’… therein lies the mystery surrounding their lethargy.

‘Succubus’ has a deep, chugging bassline that leads to a very singable chorus, but it’s ‘Young and Numb’ that steals the show – “…you’re making me, you’re making me sick”. The drummer takes over the vocals from the deep husky bassist for a few lines, with his clearer rock wail, and then the guitarist with the bigger beard screams impressively into his mic.

I can highly recommend their EP, and will be on the look out for new material. Their take on American rock/grunge has found me at just the right time, sounding fresh amongst all the psych, and striking an appealing balance between catchy riffs and walls of noise.

Demob Happy Official | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Peter Rea

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