You Are Not Alone Festival


YANA or You Are Not Alone Festival is a multi-venue event that makes its debut this year and has been organised on behalf of non-profit charity Manchester MIND. With the event selling out well in advance, it’s set to be a great day of live music.

The first band I manage to catch are Satyr Play who have packed out the basement of The Whiskey Jar early doors. The indie rock five piece have been attracting attention due to their explosive live shows and have sold out a number of Manchester’s underground venues since their emergence. Their catchy tunes offer up a bit of something for everyone and there isn’t really anything there not to like. Their front man Fred is charismatic and alluring and knows how to work an audience. They fire through an intense half hour with Fred losing more clothes as he goes and by the time they’re through, more than a few of the crowd are dancing and mouthing the lyrics back at them. A great way to start the day.

Next up in the same venue, it’s Purple Heart Parade, Manchester’s answer to The Verve who have recently been picked up by London label Club AC30. They work through a best-of set list that the crowd lap up and the undoubted highlights come from ‘Sister Libra’ with its extended intro that sucks you into the groove and ‘Lonestar’ from the EP of the same name with its supreme shoegaze vibe that is perfect for the sunny day.

The C33s are a Manchester trio who play punk-fuelled garage rock loud. Their sound is almost overpowering in the compact space but that is only a testament to its quality. They are as far removed from the previous band as you are ever likely to get and you can almost see the crowd rotating as they play. After being so chilled from PHP they are like a kick in the face that wakes everyone up once more.

Its over to Jimmy’s next to check out Cold Water Swimmers, another trio who know how to make some noise. They describe themselves as telling the story of life and death and everything in between, and if that’s the case then it can be ascertained that life is loud and unpredictable. The rock and roll attitude that exudes from the stage is reinforced with mesmeric basslines that draw you in effortlessly and empowered beats that set feet tapping. The room soon fills as their set progresses and there is an easy-going attitude, people liking what they see and hear. Easily a contender for band of the day.

The Longcut are known mostly from their first rotation back in the early 00s when they released LP A Call and Response to critical acclaim. They’ve made a re-emergence recently and their appearance on the billing is a draw for many. They take to the stage in Jimmy’s and before you know what the venue is crammed to the back. Their blend of electro and indie rock saw them right first time round and is clearly doing so again now. The only problem with their set is it is deafeningly loud and even with ear plugs, it hurts which spoils the enjoyment of brilliant songs and fantastic accompanying lights.

It’s Time For Action next over at Night & Day, who formed in Manchester in late 2017. Their sound channels that great stereotypical Mancunian sound associated with the likes of Northside and the Happy Mondays and they draw a loyal following as a result. The set features plenty of swagger courtesy of their frontman Warren Dermody which is backed up by hearty basslines, pounding beats and interesting guitar riffs. There’s never a dull moment musically and even if this isn’t really your thing, which judging by some of the crowd it definitely isn’t, its still thoroughly enjoyable and easy to listen to.

Concluding for me are Winsford’s finest export Déjà Vega who have been getting some heavy rotation so far this year on the Manchester scene and have been selling shows out left, right and centre. The trio offer a blend of psychedelia and garage rock that is so infectious it’s impossible not to get swept away with the tidal wave that surrounds them. Tonight’s set is no exception and for those who were stood around non-plussed at the start of their set, they were soon grooving away by the end. Their captivating live sets see people on top of shoulders before the set is through and ‘The Test’ holds all its usual appeal whilst garnering a whole new set of converts at the same time.

You Are Not Alone Festival: Facebook | Twitter

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