During summer 2015, Canadian indie band Ought released their album Sun Coming Down, the follow up to their 2014 critically acclaimed album More Than Any Other Day, and at the end of last year they announced plans for a UK/Europe tour for April 2016.

Hidden amongst Salford’s houses you’ll find Islington Mill, an unlikely spot for a gig venue, which makes it all the more unique and interesting. It’s almost like you have to find it within a little urban maze first.

I am excited to see Ought as I first witnessed them live at a festival last summer and was suitably impressed. Tonight, when I first enter the room it seems empty and I’m a bit concerned that it’s just going to be me, my mate and a guy who’s looking a bit lost – as if he’s accidentally wandered into the venue instead of his friend’s house next door.

Thankfully, as the support act swagger about on stage, setting up and preparing for the show, the room fills up and there is the usual gig anticipation buzz.  Ulrika Spacek launch into their half an hour set with an instrumental, which is the beginning of a continual stream of psychedelic grunge. If you imagine a mash-up of Tame Impala, Nirvana and Swim Deep, that’s a fairly accurate description of this young band’s sound. My favourite of their set is ‘I Don’t Know’ taken from their recent release The Album Paranoia.  As I hear this, I feel I am in a 90s dream, and lead singer’s Rhys Edwards Kurt Cobain hairstyle only adds to that, in a good way, of course.

Ought, cool and collected take to the stage and open with ‘Suns Coming Down’ the title track from their latest album. It’s a pure grunge wonder and Tim Darcy’s vocals are just as individual and divine as I remember them; his voice is what will take this band to utter stardom. Their most smooth and possibly radio friendly song ‘Passionate Turn’ sees a slightly softer sound from the band and creates a warmth through both the mellowed vocals and guitars, before a small mosh pit evolves at the front of the stage as they increase the tempo for the profusely catchy ‘Men For Miles’.

You don’t get much in the way of chat from this band, except for the odd moment they thank the audience and when Tim asks if we’re all okay, while responding himself with “I’m about a 7” and none of us can grumble at a 7. The lack of speak is a bit refreshing, the band are solely there to deliver a great performance and we are so engulfed in their music that none of us need small talk.

My favourite songs of the night are the wonderful ‘Beautiful Blue Sky’ – possibly the greatest from their 2015 album and ‘The Weather Song’ – an indie rock anthem ready to implode into the music world. This song in particular gets the fairly subdued crowd dancing and shouting back the lyrics. I silently hope that they will play ‘Habit’, the song that made me embrace Ought in the first place, but to my own disappointment they don’t, but perhaps they will treat me to it next time.

Before I know it, they announce that it’s time for their last song with a “Have nice weeks! Have nice lives!” and then they disappear behind a curtain.  It feels like one of the shortest headline sets I’ve seen, but, it is also proof that it’s good to have quality over quantity and sometimes short and sweet is actually best.

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Sarah Starkey

I am a Freelance Writer who is a bit music obsessive. Previously written for the likes of Music Vita and Planet Ivy. Life highlights include winning £2.50 on the Euro-millions.