trophywife-520x381 – NIGHT & DAY CAFE, MANCHESTER – 

In the last couple of the years, the music scene in Oxford has become a hub of activity and creativity. This is mainly thanks to The Blessing Force collective; a talented group of friends working together to create exciting projects, releases and club nights. Three piece Trophy Wife were one of the first acts to get involved with the force, having being born from well known Oxford outfit Jonquil, the force gave Trophy Wife a leg up by releasing their excellent debut EP Bruxism back in 2011. Since the release of said EP, the band toured for a bit around then seemed to disappear. It seems that in this time, the band were all working on various projects as well as their debut album. They recently announced that they would be putting Trophy Wife to bed, releasing their debut LP for free and playing a final tour of the UK. So tonight, we’re at the Night and Cafe for the first night of a week long string of farewell shows.

I make it in time for support Motherhood, which I’m pleased about as I realise that this is the new project from a talented guy called Joe who used to be an awesome math-pop band called The Great Eskimo Hoax. Surrounded by keyboards and samplers, Joe plays an energetic blend of pop, electronica and r’n’b with stick your head melodies and strong beats. It seems to impress the crowd this evening with lots of heading bopping and between song wooping going on. If you like forward thinking pop music, go check Motherhood out!

On record, Trophy Wife make quite laid back pop music with splashes of indie, dance and electronica, but live these splashes of dance and indie seems to grow into a proper “get into the groove” proposition. They open with a new track ‘Liquid Cocaine’ which is a full of groove and funk, building up with a strong bass line as guitars and synths swirl around for a big dance your socks off crescendo. It’s a very strong start.

New album tracks such as like ‘Glue’ and ‘High Windows’ sound much bigger live, as drummer Kit brings his four to the floor beats to the front and the use of a additional guitarist helps layer up their sound as Foals-esque guitar lines sit nicely underneath a pool of synths and samples. After a quick thanks and goodbye, the band save the best till last with the electro-indie groove of EP opener ‘Canopy Shades’ and closing on their brilliant debut single ‘Microlight’ which sounds as fresh as it did when we first heard it back in 2010. A really strong set, delivered with conviction, big grins galore and most importantly, big tunes. I can’t help but think they could be something much larger than they are or were, but ah well, all good things must to an end I suppose, at least they’ve left us with the good times! RIP Trophy Wife.

Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.