Jimmy’s, a Manchester music bar, was home to an array of upcoming talent last night and all to raise money for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
True Heights took the headline spot and after just signing to We Are Triumphant, with a new album on the way, their future is brighter than ever.
Whilst the venue was cramped and malodorous, it had a bewitching allure and intimacy that most venues don’t offer.
Although, the occasional puff of smoke from behind the speakers was a little feeble; it was as effective as someone vaping.
First to play was a duo called Ultra Jungle. Their music was relaxing and the subdued vocals, mixed with trance-like instrumentals, produced an ataractic effect.
Then alternative Liverpudlians Raised By Wolves brought the heavy.
Despite their sound being assured and bold (much like front-woman Liv Johnson’s purple hair) they at first seemed timid and a little uncomfortable on stage.
This was further backed when awkward silences fell in-between each song, as the band were tuning up, Liv tried to fill the gaps by jokingly saying: “I’m not good at this talking part”.
However, it’s not the end of the world because she’s great at the singing part. She just needs to try and reflect the sassy nature of her vocals in her stage presence more, which will come with confidence.
The whole band had perked up a bit by ‘If You Can’, which led nicely onto The Circus Villains; a bunch of adorable, indie, northern lads.
This quartet looked like a classic noughties indie rock band; with their tousled locks, skinny jeans, bomber jackets and up to their arm-pits in guitar.
Their sound is polished and ready to go, but if they hope to accumulate a fan base then they need to market themselves better. They need to be more involved with the crowd; tell them what the songs are called, so the audience can hit them up on social media and buy their songs.
They also look a little moody on stage (barring the smiley drummer) which is presumably down to concentration, rather than lack of wanting to be there.
What these supports were lacking Tried Denied had- a bit of oomph on stage.
But, the sound wasn’t great for these guys. For the first few songs the vocals were mostly drowned out.
By the time they played ‘Treasure’ and ‘What now?’ it was sorted out, which meant that their finale (a Marmozet’s cover) ‘Hit The Wave’ was just the right blend of charisma and quality.
Yet, they had nothing on True Heights, who proved why they had the top spot.
The biggest problem with their set was the fact it wasn’t long enough.
They probably would have had time to play more if the gig wasn’t running behind schedule. It took the band over four hours to get there; meaning a late sound check that had a knock-on effect all night.
Frontman (Zakk Poland) was even later than the rest of the band too, as he was busy getting a neck tattoo, which does leave you questioning his priorities, but also gives him badass rock star points too.
Although, where they lacked in quantity they made up for with quality.
They were by far the most energetic band on the line-up; not to mention the fact that all six couldn’t fit on the stage, so Zakk frequently blended into the audience, creating quite an immersive experience- even the drummer (Kris Farrell) did not remain seated.
The stage often resembled a royal rumble in wrestling, with every man for himself.
They played a nifty mix of old and new, with ‘Stay’, ‘Frank’ and ‘Catalyst’ being particularly note-worthy, for showcasing their abundance of fervour, vivacity and ability to get people mobile.
To add further to their engaging performance and likeability, they were down-to-earth and entirely themselves, when talking to people around the venue, which they should keep doing.
The night only left people eager for the album release and to see just how far this sextet can go.