Walking on to the premises of the students union on Oxford Road, Manchester, you come across a somewhat confusing queue; one going into Academy 1, with the other going into the other venues. Such a long line grows shorter by the second as soon as the clock strikes half 7, then one by one each individual goes three separate ways, one of these destinations eventually lands you at a sold out show in Academy 3 for one of Britain’s best bands who are finally making the majority of heads turn and earning the credit they most definitely deserve.
Setting the mood for the night ahead are locals Jeramiah Ferrari who are brimming with summery vibes, mixing an atmosphere and sound that is very reminiscent of the much loved Sublime. They play a tight set of reggae and ska that causes many to bop along to their smooth groove. Their performance helps to lay the foundations of what lies in wait for the next few hours. (3.5/5)
Main support act The Drop from London provide a more old school blend of slow soothing dub and reggae that is harder to swallow for most of the attendees but eventually the band’s chilled out sound causes a pincer shaped epidemic of approval and movement to appear. The band are in their element as soon as they persuade the doubtful to jam along to their sweet dub filled groove. (3.5/5)
It is truly wonderful to see a hard working British band play to a sold out show of ambitious music fans; tonight reggae troupe The Skints show off their colours in spectacular fashion. Opening with the classic ‘Mindless’, the band slowly but surely lull and secure their audience with a calming hand with their sweet vibes. Eventually the whole room lights up when the band unleash fan favourites including the infectious ‘Ratatat’, the anthemic ‘Rise Up’, and the pop laden reggae hooks of ‘Murderer’. Aided by friend and guest on their latest release ‘Part & Parcel’, Parly B on a select number of tracks such as the huge groove laden ‘Soundboy’, the band sure know how to hype the crowd to a ridiculous fever of enthusiasm. The band’s covers of ‘On A Mission’ by Katy B and ‘You Send Me’ by Sam Cooke are thrilling and enchanting to hear. The multi-talented Marcia Richards is brimming with an unstoppable fiery aura especially on her own lead vocal tunes like the sensational ‘Roanna’s Song’. Overall, there is just no stopping this band’s bouncing bulldozer of a performance.
After a brief interlude and hectic chant, the fans are treated to the obscure and rarely played ‘Soul for Sale’ performed by talented vocalist/drummer Jamie Kyriakides who sparks a united sing along in the sweat drenched room, whilst strumming on an amble acoustic guitar and singing to his heart’s content with the happy crowd. Closing with ‘Culture Vulture’, the band leaves a happy, contented and amped up audience who are now ready to dance the rest of the night away. (4/5)
Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)