Britty, Pity Sex

Britty, Pity Sex


If you’re in a lo-fi shoegaze emo indie punk band, you can expect a number of your fans to be introverts. It appears they’re all out tonight – standing awkwardly, faces pointed towards the foot of the stage with hands in pockets, making sure they don’t invade someone else’s personal space. There are a lot of tattoos here as well. We all need cheering up… don’t we?

Local garage rock band Fruit Bomb support. I’ve seen garage bands play with shoegaze on this stage before, and that was great, but tonight it really didn’t work at all. The band are well up for this and are enthusiastic and lively and really went for it… but that’s all I can remember of their set. One of them broke a guitar string – he seemed dead chuffed about it. They asked the audience to move closer, but I reckon everyone retreated because they were too loud.

There’s a strange, subdued atmosphere in here now. Pity Sex have noticed and comment upon it, but despite this, no one appears able to snap out of this lull. People around me blame the support band, which seems harsh. I, personally, am shattered, and I apologise. The band are over here for 2 weeks from Michigan; generally, things are going really well for them and the future looks bright, but maybe they’re starting to regret stopping off in Manchester.

Maybe it’s the sound? The 3 guitarists strum in unison along the front of the high stage – the vocals come and go intermittently as if the microphone has a loose connection or something. Most of the time the lyrics are all but drowned out, which is a shame, as when Britty Drake does manage find a gap amongst the chords (during ‘Fold’) her voice sounds fantastic.

Songs from their 2012 Dark World EP impress the most – ‘Coca Cola’ is just like so ironically begging to be picked up for a TV ad, it’s not even funny. I think it’s actually about a girl. Remember the Levi’s ad in the creek with that song by Stiltskin? It’s reminds me of that. Otherwise, their love of Smashing Pumpkins shines through. Generally, I’d describe them as a cross between Broken Social Scene and Dinosaur Jr.

Final tunes ‘Flower Girl’ and ‘Dogwalk’ are exactly how I would have liked the rest of the gig to have gone. The grinding bassline of the former makes it standout from all that came before, and the crowd loved it. They saved the best to last – most look up at the stage contently as they play us a great rendition of their most recognisable song. The male/female vocals and lyrics work really well here, and the contrast from the happy-go-luckly laid-back intro, to the standard wall of noise chorus, is thrilling. “I’d do anything to make you feel… to make you feel”. More of this, please.

There was a decent turn-out here tonight, and generally you get the feeling all enjoyed it, they just didn’t outwardly express it. A guy in a Pity Sex tour t-shirt quickly claimed a setlist from the stage, at the end – he was ecstatic.

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Peter Rea

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