By Jack Holmes
As the MMU’s 2015 Freshers’ Week drew to a close, there’s was one big event left to look forward to. On Saturday evening the Union was graced by a trio of up and coming indie/rock/rap bands, all of which were dead set on giving this year’s Freshers’ week the send-off it deserved. Humanity Hallows dived head first into what will be many students first taste of Manchester budding live music scene with Band Night at the Union.
First up were The Hotspur Press, the local Manchester four piece. They’re a close knit bunch who don’t slip up musically through their whole set, yet their singer does seem a little daunted by the large venue and stutters through his crowd interactions. Overall they show a lot of potential if they work out the kinks in their live performance however.
Next up are The Carnabys, touring with their debut album ‘No Money on the Moon’. From the offset their energy is blatantly apparent, lead singer Jack Mercer pushes the audience in exactly the right way. “I’ve never seen a fresher sat down before” he jokes, encouraging the groups at the side of the room the join the growing numbers in the centre of the room.
Finally, The LaFontaines enter the stage, simply oozing charisma. It’s clear to see that the Scottish rap-rock five piece are no stranger to an energetic live show, having been perfecting the art for over five years and winning a number of awards for their live performances including Best Scottish Live Band from the Sunday Mail.
Now signed to the Manchester based LAB Records, The LaFontaines are no stranger to a Manchester crowd and excel in encouraging the participation of every single individual in the room. Singer Kerr Okan conducts the audience with ease demonstrating levels of charisma that would put 90% of live bands to shame. On a number of occasions Kerr shuts down hecklers with comedic charm that’s just as entertaining as they’re unique blend of rap-rock. Tracks sound a lot fiercer than their album counterparts and the entire first half of the set has a hugely danceable pulse running throughout. The second half slows down a little and lets bass player John Gerrard show off his own impressive vocals more frequently. All building to the closing number of the night, their cover of VV Brown’s ‘Shark in the Water’, a perfect example of just how original and unique the LaFontaines sound is in a world of generic music and carbon copy live shows.
The night saw every band do themselves proud, showing just what the Manchester music scene has to offer.