Humanity Hallows Issue 6 Out Now
Pick up your copy on campus or read online
By Benjamin Cassidy
Last week, Dulcimer Bar in Chorlton hosted a live music event that showcased a whole host of up and coming bands and musicians. The Friday Night Live MCR event aimed to promote local music and give the city’s next generation of musicians a platform.
Organiser of the event, Graham Crothers told Humanity Hallows: “I used to write reviews, and focus on that side of music promotion. I enjoyed it, but now I want to do something that involves working directly with local talent.”
We asked Graham how he chose the acts for the event: “The first act, Alfie Sky, had recently played a charity gig, in The Deaf Institute, to raise funds for the families affected by the Manchester Arena bomb. The gig included names like Badly Drawn Boy and Manchester music heavy weight Peter Hook.
“I approached Alfie and told him what I am all about – that I want to provide a platform for musicians to perform – and hopefully build things from there. I hope to create a monthly evening that in time will grow in reputation and hopefully attract more and more people to come along and check out the local music scene.”
Alfie Sky is a one-person act who uses computer programs to provide the rest of his ‘band’, resulting in a tight, and highly innovative sound. This innovation is elevated by creative use of the synthesiser. The effects are reminiscent of early Joy Division tracks, with thumping drum-loops and at times heavy bass riffs, which Alfie’s vocals accompany. It’s always a tough thing to open a gig that includes several bands. There’s the pressure of setting the standard and lighting the touch-paper for the rest of the evening. Alfie rose to the occasion and went down well. His chirpy, witty banter between songs was the sign of a performer not frightened to tell people who he is, and what he’s all about. It also shows a great respect to the audience and appreciation for them being there and watching.
After his set, Alfie told us how much he enjoyed playing in his hometown: “It was surreal, but an absolute treat coming back to Chorlton. My set was a range of stuff, selected from material I’ve written over the last few years. I thought it would suit this occasion well. I’d like to express a massive thanks to Graham for putting on the night, and having me; I’d also like to thank and express my respect and appreciation to the other amazing acts on the bill.”
Next up were Voodoo Vali. Graham said: “Voodoo Vali are a three-piece rock band. They’re a no-nonsense group. Fast and fun. Atmospheric and quite heavy.”
As you might expect with a three-piece band, Voodoo Vali’s drums and bass came through that little bit more than usual. The lead singer played both rhythm and lead guitar, alternating effortlessly between both. The over-all effect was stunningly impressive. The band were gifted, musically, but what really shone was their dedication to the sound they produced. They were confident, and it showed. There wasn’t much time for talking in between, as they played through their set at break-neck speed. Among the songs was a cover of ‘Twist and Shout’, which led to audience members doing exactly that. A brilliant band to watch and hear perform live, and one that are an inspiring example of what focus and effort can attain.
After the set, Humanity Hallows asked the audience what they thought. Among the descriptions of the band’s performance were “Wow”, “Phenomenal”, and “The best live band I’ve seen or heard in a long time”. Voodoo Vali are most definitely a band to watch out for in the future, and one to make sure you book a spot in your diary to see when they next play.
The final act on the bill were SilVer ViaLS. A little Hawkwind-esque, this band used synthesisers to create weird and wonderful sounds from the guitars. They were an instrumental group, which were experimental, perhaps from the space-rock sub-section of the prog rock genre. It was refreshing, in a music industry so full of populist acts, to see a band with so much commitment and belief in the sound they want to create. For many, the test of a good band is how many people are up dancing. This group certainly brought people to their feet and got people moving, so passed that test with flying colours!
All in all, for a mere £5, the Friday Night Live band showcase brought a brilliant array of diverse talent to be enjoyed. This is a night that will surely grow in both reputation and numbers. All the right ingredients: a friendly crowd; a great up-stairs venue, (with a great drinks selection too); and, of course, some sensational locally grown music talent to be enjoyed. This night is one not to be missed. Next time round, be sure to grab a group of mates, and head down for an evening of bands, beer and banter, and all for the price of a fiver!
For more information about the next event in the Friday Night Live series, visit the event Facebook page.