292282_460517894979_1526194578_n– SOUP KITCHEN, MANCHESTER –

Looking around, there is no shortage of garage rock crawling out of the bins in every suburb and back alley of America, infecting itself among the fuzz-demented noise craving youth.  That being said, barely legal Chicago five-piece The Orwells fit this mould of what you might call yet another “underground revival”, catching the ears of today’s mud hungry counter-culture with every rare EP release.

The Orwells have been making a name for themselves in the last two years, first for only just graduating high school, and most recently this summer for slaying at their big hometown fest Lollapalooza, working with Jim Abbiss who produced  the first Arctic Monkeys record and an announced tour with Fidlar later this month, all the while keeping us surprised with such an intimate Friday the 13th gig at Soup Kitchen.

Following suit of typical teenagers, decked in a Budweiser tee and backwards hat with a bottle of red wine sat at the edge of the stage, Mario Cuomo and The Orwells begin with punk avalanche ‘Mallrats’, the catchy “La la la” expression which has pinned itself as a most recognizable psalm for the band (especially after it was featured in Myspace’s last-attempt-to-be-relevant advert – see here). Fixated on Cuomo’s Iggy Pop meets Andrew WK stage presence, it’s easy to see what all this Orwells mania is about.

Acting ambitious in all aspects of the musical realm, or maybe tonight it’s the teenage buzz from ‘totally being able to drink legally in the UK’, but we know now that these Orwells are no stranger to the stage. They keep themselves on a level of incisiveness throughout ‘Other Voices’ in which seems an homage to their new famous friends the Black Lips. Cuomo rolls his eyes back into his head in a zombified state, proving during the two and a half minute shuffle of ‘In My Bed’ that he’s got everything it takes (and more) to play front man.

Lurking behind the sludge of tonight is something special as the daydreamy riff of ‘All The Cool Kids’ begins. The sharp, lustful lyrics “You catch my eye but should I even try?/ If you want me shouldn’t act so shy” seeps under the skin of the crowd and everyone’s just into it.

It’s quality over quantity  tonight as The Orwells redress Manchester in all-American with ‘Halloween All Year’, where we find out that nothing spoils a good show like an apathetic crowd. Where’s the energy in the audience? Dovetailing back to the night’s sleuth of what feels like rebellious over dramatics, the snarl of their thirty five minute set comes to a close, uniting the crowd into a raw and powerful cover of The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, Cuomo writhing himself like a snake into the crowd  – and that was it.  Pour me a bowl of soup – I’m done. Easily just made itself into top 3 gigs of this year.

The appeal The Orwells stems from how easily we relate to years of boredom, waiting for the perfect moment to escape the illusion of suburbia, and getting your shitty little teenage heart broken. Following this band as they mature will be a treat for any fan. So let it be heard Orwells, Big Brother is watching you.

The Orwells Official | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud 

Brit Jean

One time time Gigs Editor over here at Silent Radio HQ. I've been music blogging and writing in Manchester for the past few years after graduating with a Literature degree back home in Canada. Never have I experienced a city quite like Manchester - so many great gigs and so little time! In 2014 I started an Independent Record label, Blak Hand Records with my best mate, and we aim to put out some of our favourite garage rock and psychedelic artists from both Liverpool and Manchester.