Strange Cages


A nice little two band line up has been comprised by Interior for a sold out show at The Castle tonight of two acts that have been attracting ever more attention.

Opening we have Working Men’s Club, a quintet from Todmorden whose name is an ode to the only form of pubs they had accessible to them growing up. The band have been working hard on the Manchester scene this last few months, becoming hot property. Having just been announced for the Heavenly Weekender in Leeds, rumours abound that a signing is imminent, and tonight’s crowd cannot wait for them to take the stage. Their sound is a mixture of the best bits of psychedelia and post punk, with female and male vocals keeping things interesting throughout. Their foot tapping melodies see the crowd dance unabatedly and the packed room is soon sweating. With such a strong sound so soon, these are definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Some of the crowd disperse before the main event, which is a shame as they miss a real treat. Strange Cages, from Brighton, had a hell of a time getting to the gig tonight, being on the road for some eight and a half hours, but fans are very grateful they made it. This band have already been making big strides in their short existence. Having followed up their Theo Verney-produced debut ‘Desert’ with the single ‘Pony’, they went on to release their head-spinning EP The Cracks last year, quickly gaining support from the likes of Clash Magazine, NME, Q Magazine, The 405 and The Line of Best Fit. Their second EP Silver Queen received critical acclaim and with an album imminent, surely the only way is up.

With no soundcheck and a degree of professionalism rarely seen in underground venues, they set up in record time and get straight into it. Opening with a new track that has all the hallmarks of early Nick Cave, including vocal style and stage swagger, they start strong and curious onlookers edge forward. A tricky snare drum issue forces an impromptu version of ‘Silver’ which whilst feeling a little unusual compared to the tracks either side, is a clever way of keeping things moving.

Other highlights include ‘Lasers of Joy’ and ‘Sick With Desire’, both from Silver Queen which offer some clever vocal ditties, complex guitar riffs and probing bass lines. The highlight of the set is undoubtedly the concluding track ‘Hypothalamus Blues’ which played in an extended live form is really quite special with added glitter in the form of swinging guitars, empowered drumming and heavy bass lines. For what could have been an absolute disaster given the circumstances, they absolutely nailed it.

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Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.