130910-augustines– ACADEMY 2, MANCHESTER –

Arriving at Academy 2 it is packed, with a slightly older crowd. It’s exciting to see an American band playing live as they always seem to contribute a slightly different energy on stage.

When the band starts, the smoky tones of Billy echo through the building. They are also accompanied by the trumpet which seems to give a brighter edge to some of the darker songs of Augustines.

They play ‘Chapel Song’ very early on in the set. It is one of the more well known songs of the band from the first album, and reminds me of the style of the band that first caught my attention. The riff, the vocals and how they all contribute their piece to the track, and share their feelings that are poured into the songs.

There’s a lot of emotion that seems to leak through every performance of each track. Billy interacts with the crowd in between songs often, and it’s crazy to see how the emotion on his face, when he’s singing changes into a big grin and some shared banter once the track finishes.

From what he says, it seems the band really respects Manchester music, and he goes on to mention quite a few Manchester greats and it shows that they clearly enjoy playing over here.

At first the crowd seem to be intense on listening, no one is really moving at all, just intrigued and you can almost feel how people are here to genuinely listen to the music; no one has their iPhone out filming every second. They are too intent on listening to what’s happening. Over halfway through the set there is a trumpet instrumental that makes everyone come alive, it’s unexpected and uplifting.

Augustines leave the stage after nearly an hour long set and come back on shortly after to sing acoustically with no microphones, Billy’s voice once again echoes through the hall and the guitar glides it along. They return to their mics and play ‘Have You Ever Felt Lonely’, which gets a lot of airtime on the radio at the moment. The band really gives us all our money’s worth and stays on for quite a few more songs. With their second album recently being released and lots more gigs around Europe and back to England, and the turn out tonight it looks like Augustines are in a pretty good place right now.

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I'm a northern bird that appreciates all the lovely sounds this city has to offer. What I love about gigs, is that not only the music but the venue and atmosphere can create such a vibe that it takes you somewhere else. Love live life!