By Jack Holmes
If you like your up-and-coming original music, and you’re not familiar with The Laboratory Project Record Label, now is a perfect time to start paying attention.
The label, assembled and organised by former Ministry of Sound Operations Director Tony Rigg, held a night of live music to celebrate their new compilation album, ‘Taste Masters 5’ last Friday, and Humanity Hallows were there to cover it.
The line-up is an assortment of artists featured on the album, from rap to rock to everything in between. Taking place at Fac251 (formerly the Factory records HQ, for you music history buffs) which was packed with a mix of bands fan bases, and music lovers alike looking for the next big thing.
The night was opened by Five Days North, a Mancunian indie rock/pop five piece. They’re a good choice for first on the bill, simply for the energy and determination they exhibit throughout their set. They’re determined to give their audience a great opening set, and warm them up for the rest of the nights proceedings, and their determination pays off.
They’re followed by Free Wize Men, one of the many up and coming rap groups on the Mancunian underground. An excellent blend of well written observational poetry style lyrics and original beats, give us a taste of a definite group to watch. They escape the pitfalls of overhyping, keeping a grounded set throughout and even joking “I can’t hit these high notes right now”. It’s a fun set and one of the highlights of the evening.
Manchester’s had a recent surge of hard indie rock bands and singer songwriter Jot Green as his alter ego Rum Thief is another welcome addition to the fold. With an assembly of equally talented musicians for his live band, Rum Thief makes sure to pack in as many tracks as possible into their relatively short set time. Green comes across as a jack of all trades as well, unleashing frantic guitar solos in heavier tracks and showcasing his impressive voice in the more stripped down sections of the set.
The alt rock/grunge trio of Noir Noir follow, and are proof that Laboratory Records promise of “original” music, is more than just a tag line. They’re probably the biggest boundary pushers taking the stage with their blend of winding riffs and drum and bass lines. They’ve also put thought into their stage presence, emerging to an almost black stage, before the lights pull up when their first track kicks in. Some say it’s not enough to just be talented in the modern music scene, but with Noir Noir’s outside of the box thinking, we’re confident their newly released tracks are the fast of many milestone successes for the band.
Expecting some kind of metalcore act with a name like ‘Death to the Strange‘ there’s nothing scary about the down to earth five piece that follow. The Salfordian’s take what it means to be a Northern indie band and drag it into the 21st century. Their blend of humour and quirky charm give us one of the most entertaining sets of the night, and a track about crack cocaine might be the most enjoyable four minutes of the night.
Closing the nights festivities is Stillia, a Catfish and the Bottlemen-esque indie rock band that prove just how close these bands are to making it to the big time. Having supported the likes of Amber Run and making appearances at festivals including The Great Escape and Tramlines, Stillia’s members age is clearly no more than a number. Hailing from St Helens, Stillia fit perfectly into the Manchester scene, but it won’t be long until they’re too big for it.
If you want to know more about any of the bands click on the band titles above. If you’re more interested in the compilation, which is a great place to start getting to know the acts if you couldn’t make it to the gig, it’s available on Googleplay and Itunes Store.