By Jack Holmes
If you were trapped out in the bitter cold of Manchester on Saturday night, you may be a little jealous to hear of all the enjoyable musical antics that went down at the MMU Union’s third band night of the year. Completing their hosting hat-trick following last months Flesh headlined spot, the Union presented The Prions, Noir Noir and Purge to warm up family, friends, strangers and students alike.
First up are The Prions, a four-piece Manchester indie band. Drawing clear inspiration from classic indie icons such as The Smiths and Joy Division their set focuses around sharp clean lead guitar riffs and floaty vocals. Tracks like their single “Days of Our Teens” feel a little lacklustre compared to their recorded counterparts with the band being unable to accurately recreate a number of the sounds that help their tracks stand out in the vastly competitive Manchester indie scene. With such a solid debut EP on their hands, Prions challenge now is managing to recreate their well written tracks impact equally at their shows.
The Prions are followed by Irish trio Noir Noir, who expertly unveil their grunge alt rock mix with professional poise. Their set features none of The Prions football score jokery, instead creating an atmosphere from the start of their set, featuring an eerie into track, right through to their finale. Their time on stage feels more like one long song showing off their bands already well developed and unique“sound”. Members stay almost entirely silent throughout their act save for a number of polite “thank you’s” for the crowd, a welcome change from most support acts, and allow their music to speak for itself, Noir Noir come off as a band that aren’t simply comfortable with imitating the sounds of genre figureheads in hopes that fame and fortune will fall into their lap. Their fresh sound demands attention, whether you love it or hate it, an impressive feat for a first support act.
Finishing off the night are Purge, a Manchester grunge/punk band who released their debut EP “Bessy” earlier this year. Channelling a kind of early Red Hot Chilli Peppers sound with some interesting breakdowns and instrumentals that feel as free and easy as the band act on stage. Singer Bob Hunter uses his voice not only to offer a distinctive vocal style, but also to charm his audience through smooth conversation and a number of amusing lyrics, reminding the audience not every band has to be taken deadly serious. Professionalism seems to take a back foot at times through the set as the band have a number of discussions amongst themselves, however this relaxed vibe also adds to the bands charm and helps them break past the notions of being “just another local band” by adding that vital character most up and comers tend to lack.