Technically proficient throughout, this young band underpin everything they do with interesting rhythms, the female voice added much needed soul when used. On this showing it seems like the band members were too nice to each other in the writing process, instead of fighting for their own influences they ended up trying to accommodate each other, subsequently their sound isn’t really any one thing, rather a watered down version of lots of things. That said, Kiriyama Family showed some promise when showcasing new material, so moving forward perhaps they will be ones to watch.
Opening with a brooding atmospheric number, the juxtaposition of the two opening bands seems quite painful, Bloodgroup clearly have developed their own DNA. I guess just by being older and more sure of themselves. Songs like ‘Nothing Is Written In The Stars’ shine head and shoulders over the dancier numbers. Not to say that a key-tar doesn’t have its own place, just that I think this band has the attributes that complement the slow, sultry approach, and when they are good like that they are very good.
Walking on stage singing an Irish folk song acapella, its message encapsulating the entire set to follow, it’s both brave and wonderful. Silencing the audience into complicity. A delicate confrontation for drunks with serious eyes. Money harness a thousand words a second for every thought you’ve ever disowned, drunk, beautiful and dangling from a thread. The precarious nature of the human condition represented in the breadth of their performance. Unpredictable yet accomplished. A complex web of paradoxes. All the virtues and troubles of the human caught in the midst in his own self-awareness. The punishing shackles of empathetic understanding, looming behind the eyes of four responses, their consequences happen before each word is spoken unwittingly. Trapped within conventions of our own making.
The extended jam of Blueberry Fields is a particular highlight. This is the first time I’ve seen the band from Manchester and I’m a bigger fan than I was before they started. In fact, I’m now a massive fan, listening to ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’ as I type. The appeal of it’s songs is only heightened. If it was down to emotional weight, if music was rated by what you feel, if you feel anything at all. Money would be the biggest band on earth
On and On
The problem with juxtaposing styles is that your night at one stage feels quite manic. After the emotional rush of Money came the proficient indie of On and On. There is nothing particularly wrong with the band. It just seems after Money to be hitting notes but not pulling any strings. Not impassioned, just happening, motion for the sake of turning rather than any necessity of movement. They sound like a heavy handed Deathcab For Cutie. Like the band in any number of US teen dramas from over the years. That plays in the bar/club/social club and all of the tall attractive people have a great time. Apart from the main characters who are fighting again. The lyrics probably reflect the anxiety of this situation. At least for this scene they are generalised far enough to be applicable. I feel like the main character. Fighting my instincts to be dismissive because of a much better performance from someone else.
I guess this is what On and On could have won. Young Dreams have all the same ingredients but it’s a different cake. Guitars, synths, multi-part harmonies like the goddamn Beach boys at times. Jittering around the melody instead of ploughing through it. Although the new material plods where their older stuff skips. If it wasn’t for Money these guys would be my favourite thing from today. Although they are far too summery for how cold I’ve been.
Harmless, fun time, dance music. The band are incredible at working the audience and they soon have the crowd pulling energy from the ground, or exploding, or swaying. When they filter in from the Jon Hopkins set next door it really gets going and finds the energy level that the bands from earlier also deserved. The music is not my thing at all, but admittedly really fun to watch, even if I don’t personally follow the instructions.
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