As The Neighbourhood take to the stage they ooze an effortless cool.  The LA five-piece rocketed in popularity after being selected as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World on Radio 1, with their infectious single ‘Sweater Weather’. As a band bathed in anonymity in their beginnings, and with a penchant for drip-feeding songs they have rightfully gathered a steady stream of hype. After a sold out show at the Borderline in London last night, they play The Deaf Institute – the penultimate of a trio of UK dates.

Under the obscure lighting, the band are clad in black from head to toe. It’s this collective aesthetic of dark and shade and a proclivity to the colours black and white, that bleeds into the ethos of the band and the way their music videos and merchandise appear.

The attempt to warm up a crowd can be difficult enough, even more so when it’s a new song. So starting with ‘Let It Go’ is a brave decision. It is executed wonderfully.  The layered guitars with the heavier hip hop drum and speedier vocal delivery continues on with the RnB tendencies that they have flirted with on previous material. The lyric, “remember what the people said” lingers long after it has been sung.  Front man, Jesse Rutherford cuts a slender figure.  His tattoos creep from under his collar and at points he swings the microphone as if channelling an inner Roger Daltrey.

The elusive quintet released their debut EP ‘I’m Sorry…’ earlier this year, and it is played in its entirety tonight. ‘Wires’ is enamoured with RnB inclinations but also simultaneously projects a hazy, brooding pop sensibility. Predictably, ‘Sweater Weather’ with its dreamy pop melody inspires the biggest sing-along of the night. The refrain “It’s too cold / for you here/ and now so let me hold both your hands in / the holes of my sweater”, being sang back at the band with gusto – possibly due to the nostalgia of it being the soundtrack to most people’s summer. The upbeat then shifts to the melancholic with the repetition of “whoa whoa”.

‘Leaving Tonight’ isn’t just a highlight off the EP, but in a live setting and as their set closer it proves to be one of the pinnacles of the night. Bassist, Mikey Margott and drummer, Bryan Sammis depart the stage momentarily leaving the remaining members to deliver a poignant performance. Rutherford’s vocal is shown to its greatest ability – like when a peacock shows off its elaborate plumage. You can hear the ounces of emotion permeating through his voice, and the intricate guitar playing from Zachary Abels and Jeremy Freedman comes to the fore too.  With Margott and Sammis returning to the stage towards the climax of the track they add a rock edge to the subtle rendition and elevated it.

Although this is The Neighbourhood’s first appearance in Manchester and probably nowhere near to selling out, I can assure you that the next time they visit it will be.