Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting


Formed only in 2014 Ultimate Painting have been very busy since their birth, having released an impressive 3 albums, 2014’s self-titled Ultimate Painting, 2015’s Green Landings and this year’s Dusk. Today they play Manchester’s Deaf Institute and the gig coincides nicely with their 3rd album release date. The band, made up of Jack Cooper and James Hoare and varying supporting members have already gathered a strong following in their short life span and regularly make the 6Music playlists and festival line-ups.

I am optimistic for the gig tonight, having seen this band play End of the Road Festival back in 2015 and been a little bit wooed by their dreamy sound. Tonight, they are supported by Leif Erikson a band that for the short stage time make an impressive mark by the end of their ‘The War on Drugs’ sounding set; smooth rock, catchy chords and pulsing bass.

While we wait for Ultimate Painting to unleash on stage The Deaf Institute fills to the seams, and the true buzz of the venue hums to life.  Ripples of cheers travel through the room as they open with an audience favourite ‘Ultimate Painting’ from the first album, this warm 60s rhythmic tune is glorious and its earworm riffs undeniable. As their performance progresses they showcase songs from the new release and the catchy ‘Bills’ and ‘Monday Morning, Somewhere Central’ in its wistful gentle music whirl of beautiful heartbreak lyrics show the strengths of the new record. But, it’s when they take us back to the previous two albums that I feel we get a true sense of this bands soul and the sound that encompasses who they are; the crowd react notably with noisy praise and appreciation.

Their 60s California vibe is so well executed with their hollow electric guitars and the 3 string bass and this transports us all to another brighter place. As they play ‘(I’ve Got The) Sanctioned Blues’ from Green Lanes, I am reminded that this is the best of the best, a mega hit, an anthem that wouldn’t be misplaced amongst The Beatles and The Kinks and the influence of bands like these, and particularly The Velvet Underground doesn’t go unnoticed.

Tonight they have excelled, being in this small atmospheric venue has made their set both intimate and joyous. The band thank Manchester and comment how they have watched over 100 bands themselves in this very same venue; a venue I’ve not often seen as packed as this, for the sold out show alone they should be proud.

As the set comes to it’s inevitable climax they end with the song that brought them to my attention in the first place, the enticing ‘Ten Street’, the tune evolves into a 10-minute rock n’ roll interlude and the intricacy of their instrumental talents shines. It may be the start of autumn, but, this evening, Ultimate Painting have brought some much needed sunshine to Manchester.

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Sarah Starkey

I am a Freelance Writer who is a bit music obsessive. Previously written for the likes of Music Vita and Planet Ivy. Life highlights include winning £2.50 on the Euro-millions.