I really like the Deaf Institute.  To me it’s a nice intimate little venue and I want all its quirky decorations in my house.  Whilst having a drink downstairs I am surprised to hear that this gig has sold 200 tickets already, and that’s not even a sell out.  Apparently there is a 290 capacity for The Deaf Institute.  I can’t really imagine that many people fitting in there but perhaps the Deaf Institute people are just really good at making the place feel full and lively (I guess they close the top section off if it’s not busy; adept).

First up are BUTCHER THE BAR who sell rather lovely t-shirts and bags which I think would probably be worth buying even if you didn’t like the band.  A Manchester based 5 piece, they also make quite lovely music with a slightly country tone to it.  The vocals are incredibly smooth and soft and they make me think there must be some kind of filtering effect on them, but I’m told that is not the case; they are just very smooth.  I’m reminded of The Thrills (but better) or The Shins and in places Death Cab for Cutie or The Postal Service.  Chirpy and upbeat.  The bassist appears to be in his own world, staring off at something that we can’t see.  He is my favourite musician.  He displays a good array of facial expressions.  The music is kind of gazey, summery, cloud music.

ALLO DARLIN sound quite ‘heavy’ after this but I think this is only comparatively.  These guys are half Australian, half British and were founded in London.  They are also selling some rather good-looking t-shirts and I am excited by the ukulele playing front woman.  A good voice too.  The crowd has suddenly swelled massively and people are even singing along.   It’s jolly, jaunty, upbeat with a post-modern feel about the lyrics which seem to contain a lot of references.  They have a good rapport with the crowd and people are jumping around with enthusiasm and are clearly very into it.

They sound to me something like Camera Obscura and perhaps a girly band like The Organ (although far more upbeat).  They definitely seem to have that pop-indie-rock girl band sound to them.  (Although they only seem to have one girl).  The bassist in this band also stands out and seems a very jolly soul and there’s a good, strong bass sound underpinning the set with one song sung by him.  An encore is demanded with some intensity and the first song is a solo with the ukulele which receives rapturous applause.  The second song sounds somewhat different and I get a bit of an 80s vibe; it sounds something a bit like Cindi Lauper to me.  There are calls for more songs but that is it and although there were only two bands tonight I feel like we’ve heard a lot of music for our money.

Louise Fletcher

Originally from Bristol, I emigrated to The North after studying Sociology at Exeter University. In my opinion the Manchester music scene is pretty unbeatable and very inspiring! It even encouraged me to start a band! Long live the live music scene!