New Candys

New Candys


After scouring the internet, I would like to congratulate New Candys for being the first Italian band in my record collection. If you know of any I may have overlooked, please, let me know. Lacuna Coil is a name I recognise, but that’s as far as it goes… Paulo Nutini is half Italian, half Scottish, but I don’t own any of his stuff, and so, as far as I’m concerned, these Venetians are blazing a trail.

Gladly, The Blackrays are the support in this little gem of a venue – a converted terraced house in the heart of Manchester’s largest community of students. I saw these local lads play at Gullivers in support of Dead Rabbits a month ago, and vowed to keep track of their progress – well, they’re still really great. I counted 5 tunes tonight; each is given plenty of time to develop, enveloping you in a shoegaze haze of fuzz, distortion and pounding beats, capped off with a dark and twisted, intriguing vocal from the frontman, who is dressed from hoodie to boots in black.

‘Endless’ (ironically) ends with the singer knelt on the floor after screaming with all his might into a microphone that’s clutched tight between two fingerless-gloved hands. The bassist thumps his guitar with contempt to stun the sound that still rings from the petrified strings, causing a ripple effect. At one point, the lead guitarist churns my stomach by strumming rapid, high, reverb heavy chords, and then drops down the fretboard, causing a few g’s of force, akin to being thrown off a cliff. An official release is hotly anticipated by myself, and by the sound of the reaction, from the rest of the audience too.


The Blackrays

New Candys earlier work is predominantly surf related – the tune entitled ‘Surf Little Surfer’ from their 2010 debut EP is a dead giveaway. In their recently released album New Candy’s As Medicine, they still retain those reverb heavy minor chords to a certain extent, but have added a plethora of other influences from the psych spectrum along the way. Imagine The Black Angels, or Night Beats, or Los Craters, with a shoegaze edge. Guitar effects pedalboards consume most of the space on the small stage floor, but singer Fernando Nuti still manages to find room to sit cross-legged with his sitar and get all spiritual for a couple of tunes, mellowing an otherwise danceable and uplifting set, at the halfway point.

From then on after, the gig really gets going. ‘Mess’ has a beautiful combination of guitar chords that come and go in the verses, and then suddenly, without warning, they switch to something almost completely different – the dependable beat and plodding bassline disappear, replaced by what seems to be another tune altogether. A smooth transition back to the familiar verse from before that we had come to enjoy, is somewhat reassuring on it’s return. “Everything’s a mess”. A pretty wonderful mess, though.

‘Dark Love’ is the highlight – one member of the crowd gets in the faces of the band during the intro, letting them know how much he likes this tune before they get well into it. “The rain is coming / and I’m not running / cause there’s a sunbeam / now, where you all go”. High, pitch-bent guitar notes that sound a little Oasis-like carry the tune along to euphoric levels of headiness.

There isn’t a large crowd here tonight, but the band are still goaded into an encore. A tambourine is hijacked from Diego Menegaldo, who teaches the enthusiastic fan how to play it during ‘Endless Deadline’. A guy who has been dancing at the front all night gets caught in a head-to-head wrestling match with Diego, as he tries to video the performance with his phone – an experience he’ll probably savour more than any footage that he would have gathered.

Getting drunk and listening to psych rock appears to be an acceptable way of cutting loose, if you sway towards the darker things in life. Imagine a room full of goth’s who aren’t afraid to express themselves. There’s a real wealth of riches in this genre at the moment, and it’s reaching all parts of the globe. Chilean’s Follakzoid will be in this city very soon. Keep them coming.

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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.