Music, News, Review

Mary in the Junkyard @ YES Basement review – Gentle indie vs terrifying noisemongers

0 59

Featured image: Steve Gullick

An ominous belch marks the start of Ebbb’s set:


The anonymous trio – good luck finding info about them – layer it up until the cacophony fuses into a Gregorian chant, albeit one harmonised by a chain of foghorns. It causes chunks of plaster to fall from the ceiling, dandruffing unsuspecting shoulders. The drums pick up to a thoroughbred gallop, eclipsing the spooky synth and adding a further battering ram for our ears to contend with. Add ethereal vocals into the mix and they’ve essentially superglued three different songs together, yet somehow it works. 

There’s ample opportunity for Ebbb to vanish up their own fundament, but they’re taut, focused and cram a variety pack of ten tunes into their short timeslot. Along the way, they visit the netherworlds of techno, trance and even lob in the odd warp speed blast beat, as the falsetto-wielding frontman convulses his arms and torso with each fresh twist.

A couple of slower tracks build up to crescendos that fail to arrive – the penultimate song with its haunting “I’m not enough” motif, for instance – but overall, that’s nitpicking in the extreme. Ebbb are monumental. The band of your dreams. Maybe even the band of your nightmares if they’re opening for you.

It’s Mary in the Junkyard’s unenviable task to follow that. The Londoners are game, though. As they should be. Their mini three-date jolly sold out long before they loaded their van this morning, and they plug-in in front of an eager crowd who will them on from the start. Clari Freeman-Taylor, eyes scrunched as tight as an empty packet of crisps, dances around her guitar’s fretboard, while her breathy “eeew-eeeh-eeew-eeeh-eeew-eeeh-ew” vocals provide the focal point of new single, ‘Ghost’. 

To her left, Saya Barbaglia, wrestles with a bass that threatens to engulf her, stretching every ligament in her left hand to reach the notes. She’s more at home with her viola, plucked and bowed with distinguished deftness throughout the set. A respectful silence falls over the venue for the plaintive ‘Jane’, which dials the volume and pace right down, only for the persistent buzz of the PA to trample all over it. 

Mary in the Junkyard have Manchester’s tallest fans. You could easily fill a basketball team’s roster from tonight’s attendees, and they all reach for their phones as soon as closing song ‘Tuesday’ begins. Freeman-Taylor struggles to stifle the giggles as its chorus ignites a singalong, but this and the band’s group hug after the final notes play out make for a heartwarming end.

About the author / 

Ian Burke

Leave a reply

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

More News Stories:

  • Album review: Seagoth – How to Stay Wide Awake

    Featured image: Seagoth “This album is dedicated to all of the people who can’t take a day off from themselves, to the people who have to face their greatest fears every single day – and to all the pain we feel, may we heal”. – Seagoth on How to Stay Wide Awake. While studying music…

  • Is This Thing On: Feminist theatre with a twist comes to Contact

    Featured image: So La Flair Theatre Ellie Campbell and Megan Keaveney graduated last year from Manchester Theatre School. The pair met at a house party in their first year, where Ellie was standing on a table singing her heart out to Florence and the Machine. Megan locked eyes with her and knew they would be…

  • Jungkook’s Top 5 Solo Tracks: An Exploration into the BTS Stars Musical Odyssey

    Featured image: PA As members of BTS embark on their military services, South Korean singer and songwriter Golden Maknae Jungkook is taking a venture into his new solo journey. Jungkook is celebrated for his outstanding stage presence and vocal ability to traverse different genres. With the discovery of his new upcoming album Golden, including 11…

  • Manchester Fashion Institute Fashion Spotlight: Showcasing MFI’s young emerging talent and innovative artists

    Featured image and photography: Nathan Cutler aAh! Magazine highlights the up-and-coming talent of Manchester Fashion Institute (MFI) students this spring, introducing the young artists and designers who are sharing unique, creative and innovative work. Our MFI Fashion Spotlight focuses on three second-year Fashion Art Direction students who are taking part in the university-led project titled…