Lifestyle, News, Review

Union Rocks closes Manchester Met’s Welcome Week celebrations

0 126

humanity-hallows-magazine-issue-4-web2

Humanity Hallows Issue 4 Out Now!
Pick up your copy on campus or read online.


By Jacqueline Grima & Evelyn Sweeney


An eclectic mixture of indie, jazz, alternative rock, funk and soul bands gathered at the Manchester Met Student Union to perform at the annual Union Rocks event, closing Welcome Week. In total, eight bands performed at the event and were greeted by a highly enthusiastic reception from the student crowd.

First up on stage was unsigned act Joel Gardiner, who proved to be a great and well received warm up for the main event. Joel was followed by Fugios, an alternative indie rock band who originate from Preston in Lancashire. Often compared to Arctic Monkeys, Fugios were previously known as The Fugitives and have been playing together since high school. The band recently had the honour of playing at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club.

Next up was unsigned Manchester jazz and funk band Cruel Kingdom who last year had the honour of playing with the legendary Alexander O’Neal and recently entertained crowds at the Blackthorn Music Festival. Cruel Kingdom were followed by funk and soul band The Bright Black who will also be playing at the Deaf Institute later this month. Rounding off this stage of the event were funk and soul band Hotspur Press who recently signed to label B33. Hotspur Press wowed the crowd with their catchy and engaging anthem-like songs.

One of the strongest performances of the evening came from unsigned North Yorkshire rock band Your Illuminations. The band, who literally lit up the stage with fairy lights, had the crowd in the palm of their hands as they made the union their own for one night only. Next up was another strong performance from Stillia, an indie rock ‘n’ roll band from St Helens whose strong stage presence and raw alternative vibe held the crowd’s attention for the entire set.

Headliners of the Union Rocks event were Manchester rock band Sly Antics who owned the room with their confident and seamless performance and singer Sam’s strong vocals. Sly Antics, whose influences include Arctic Monkeys and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, recently performed at Manchester’s O2 Ritz and their debut EP Captive City was released in September by Vixen Music.

At the gig, Humanity Hallows caught up with Ben from the band to ask him about the inspiration for the new EP.

“It was the first track we ever wrote. We were commuting on the train every day and you could sense the anger and resentment from the people around us. So I guess it’s just about people being angry and the city being held captive by those types of commuters.”

Sly Antics performed their first gig at last year’s Union Rocks and Sam talked about how the band has progressed since that first performance.

“We did our first gig here nearly a year ago. It’s a lot different now though because we don’t have any nerves any more.

“Confidence is the main thing. It’s mostly about changing our songs that we’ve recorded into a show that can get people excited, I feel like we’ve gotten better at that.”

The evening was rounded off by sets from DJs Cameron Rawson and PBH who kept the crowd entertained until the early hours.


About the author / 

Jacqueline Grima

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Opinion: “Our real legacy at university is the friends we make along the way”

    We all prioritise different things in life: our relationships, academic achievement, and financial success. While these can be great catalysts for short and long-term goals, making us resilient,  fixating on these goals can become overwhelming, even detrimental. Focusing on what we feel we have to achieve can make it easy to lose sight of the…

  • Reading and Leeds Festival 2024: The best bands to see this year

    Featured image: Georgina Hurdsfield Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of choice on offer at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. We’ve trawled the lineups to bring you a cluster of acts to watch on the August bank holiday weekend. From jungle to riotous punk, there’s a bounty of brilliant bands…

  • Film Review: The Idea of You – A sappy feel-good rom-com

    Featured image: PA Media In this sappy, heart-warming rom-com, two lovers meet at Coachella as Solène (Anne Hathaway) takes her daughter to a meet and greet at the Californian music festival. Known for her iconic roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and The Princess Diaries (2001), Hathaway plays the role of a 40-year-old divorcee…

  • Travel: Tips for multi-country trips abroad while keeping your bank account happy

    Featured image: Georgia Pearson The summer break from university is approaching and conversations about travel plans can be heard across campus. But with the cost of living at a high, students and young people are looking for cheaper ways to travel this summer. Travelling to multiple countries during one trip can be a budget-friendly way…