Looks can be deceiving. I remember seeing a picture of Manchester based outfit Egyptian Hip Hop before hearing them and with their angular haircuts and flamboyant vintage outfits I was expecting to hear something loud, noisy and full of youthful exuberance. Instead, I heard perfect pop songs with electro tinges, strong grooves and even stronger hooks that have refused to leave my head since I heard them back in 2010. Since the release of their ace début EP ‘Some Reptiles Grew Wings’ two years back, we haven’t heard much from the quintet but tonight sees them return to their hometown of Manchester, playing to a sold out room at one of the city’s rising music venues, Soup Kitchen, in the heart of the northern quarter.

Tonight we’re treated to a home grown bill, with ‘Temple Songs’ opening this evening’s affairs with their simplistic guitar pop nuggets while ‘Weird Era’ bewitch a now packed out room with their grungey undertones and bewildering guitar melodies.

It’s now time for Egyptian Hip Hop and kicking off with the slow building grooves of ‘White Falls’, everyone in the room bobs in unison as the grooves seem to lie amongst the synth driven sound waves and vocal yelps. As the song comes to a climax, they swiftly kick into current single ‘Yoro Diallo’ which is a really bright and breezy pop song with its syncopated guitar lines and harmonious chorus; it gets both the crowd and the band into the swing of things. The band announce that tonight’s set will mostly be new songs before launching into a re-working of their excellent début single ‘Wild Child’ which turns the room into a massive dance floor as colourful lights swirl around the room, like the perfect disco that my mind has always wanted to hear this song in. I have reason to believe that it is ‘Tobago’, which is set to be the album’s opening track that provides the evening’s set highlight as the band jam around a killer bass line, hypnotic synth pattern and super funky rhythm that most definitely gets the party started as front man Alex Hewett jumps into the crowd dancing his way around the room.

It’s really interesting to see how the band have developed both a unit and as musicians and the songs seem more thought out and are tighter and groovier than before. They have kept their pop sensibilities but by expanding and experimenting within their sound Egyptian Hip Hop have left everyone in Soup Kitchen with wide grins on their faces which has certainly gotten people really excited about hearing what could possibly be one of the best début albums of the year! Welcome back boys!

Good Don’t Sleep is released on 22/10/2012

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.