A slightly subdued start to the evening at Gorilla this evening – Swedish rockers Birthday Girl don’t have the same following as the headliner tonight so the venue isn’t filling up right away but as soon as the first chord hits people are round from the bar, surging forward and paying attention.

The long haired beauties from Stockholm are a stark contrast to the pink, flowery “birthday girl” balloon they have placed centre stage – it’s an ironic touch when the band, who look like they belong in a Kurt Cobain tribute act, are first seen.

They beckon the crowd forward with tight songs, dirty riffs, strong beats and glorious harmonies. They’re a little lost in their own worlds at times but it works – it’s difficult to look away from the keys player in particular, they’re a presence.

I can’t put my finger on what they sound like but if you like a mixture of indie, grunge and 60s throwback give ‘em a listen.

Next up in the place that’s fast becoming one of my favourite venues in Manchester (even if I still don’t know what the blue boxes covering the stage backdrop are – hit me up if you know!), Glasvegas are in house.

As always they’re loud, dirty and just how music should be.

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy hearing a strong accent when someone’s singing but James Allan brings it home immediately. The crowd are just as gnarly as the band, I’m pushed back to the wall on the first song and I’m stuck there for the foreseeable.

They’re celebrating ten years, and what a celebration we’re in for. Pushing through their entire debut album, with an opener of ‘Be My Baby’, moving through the songs that put them on the map as a force to be reckoned with a decade ago.

During ‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart’ I actually find myself asking if they’re playing the crowd chants, prerecorded, as it’s so loud and so on point. They’re not, FYI, the crowd really are that devoted and that focused on who’s in front of them.

Proclaiming his love for Manchester you can tell Allan is just as shocked as me by the crowd’s reaction but the only word to describe it is epic. Manchester clearly loves them right back.

The audience keep the songs rolling, there’s no time for stopping. At times the crowd start songs back up again despite the fact that it’s just finished. ‘Go Square Go’ gets everyone fired up and the band are so in tune with those who have paid to see them they go along with it when they start chanting the final line again, and they play another round of the chorus. Unreal.

The march like drumbeat of ‘Daddy’s Gone’ genuinely makes me wonder where the creator felt like walking to when he or she wrote it, and the crescendo of ‘Icecream Van’ took a while to leave my soul afterwards.

This short ass can’t see a whole lot of the stage because of the bodies in front of me (and this supposedly wasn’t a sell out!) but the feeling, emotion and excitement in the venue is palpable.

If ten years has done anything, it’s made both Glasvegas and their fans even more diehard. They’re all well ‘ard and I wouldn’t want to stand in either of their way.

Cheers guys.

P.s. They would have been a fantastic addition to Daniel P Carter’s Radio 1 Rock Show ‘Greatest Woahs” show a few months ago. There’s a lot of them.

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