Bands Worth Watching
Back in 2010 when Manchester was beginning to shout about its more “intelligent” pop sounds featuring bands such as Everything Everything, Delphic and ourselves, these guys were at the forefront of the underground to that. With relentless motorik beats and devastating distortion across everything else (even the vocals), they were providing a perfect antidote. Fast forward to 2013, and the sound has caught up with them, with the sort of revival of “guitar music” (garage rock) flowing through a new resurgence of acts across the city. Unfortunately for these chaps, their album remains in the wings waiting for a label to sink its teeth in, which is deemed a criminal oversight for anyone who has witnessed their live shows of late (or any other time really).
It’s fair to say Francis has had an up-and-down few months of late. With the surprise and very public breakup of his band WU LYF by their singer Ellery, the material and live set that Francis has produced since is nothing short of astonishing and heartbreaking at the same time. We took him on tour back in February across the U.K., and we were very nervous for him having only seen his show once before. But the boldness of his minimal sound (sometimes just a ukulele, sometimes even a capella) combined with his exposing lyrics and the overall unpredictable nature of himself, created a Fleetwood Mac-esque level of drama and something truly standing out on its own in the city’s musical scene. He’s only uploaded material to YouTube at the moment, but we’ve been informed an album will be on its way this summer.
When our good friends Egyptian Hip Hop are on downtime, it’s always a pleasure to see their frontman Alex Hewett (and the others as backing band) take on this alter prog-funk ego. It’s funny that in all the waiting and delaying of EHH’s debut album to drop, Hewett managed to write, record and release an album of this material in that spare time problem free. It’s also very, very good if not a little too lo-fi for its own good at times. The live show is extraordinary mind, and their 7-minute cover of Paul McCartney’s “Check My Machine” (a b-side off the Paul McCartney II album) has to be seen to be believed. He came and played a solo show for us when we put on an afternoon of treats at the Deaf Institute last summer (see Venues), and let’s just say things got a bit Twin Peaks. Listen to see why.
Next page: Venues Of Note