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Malokai / Pigeons In Motion / The Goddamn Electric / Forever August / Lights Out Action
Dry Bar Manchester - 7.7.11

In a Summer absolutely jam-packed with quality live music, Designer Magazine donned its more punky attire for a night out at Dry Bar. Fans were anticipating a cool combination of local talent and big-hitters from out of town and they were not to leave disappointed.

Lights Out Action come armed with melodies so warm they’re fairly tropical, yet their array of breakdowns means they never lost their edge here. They got us off to a magnificent start, pumping out their own ear-catching material as well as some accomplished covers. An original and seamless mash-up of Enrique Iglesias’ ‘Hero’ and Kids In Glass Houses’ ‘Matters At All’ brought their set to a grand close.

It was nice of Forever August to play us a gig in July (ha-dee-ha) and they were the next to light up the stage. The Basingstoke boys have been making waves of late – recording their first official music video and touring the south of the country – and it’s fair to say they made a few new friends on this jaunt to Manchester. The band have the engine of Funeral For a Friend and drive forward with You Me At Six-style chiming guitars and soaring vocals. It is refreshing to see, though, that Forever August avoid the whining to which so many such bands are prone. Songs like ‘Once And For All’ are undeniable and their all-round stage presence suggests these lads are preparing for big things.

It certainly seemed a difficult proposition for The Goddamn Electric to follow such a set. Up they stepped, however, to make their assault on Dry Bar on multiple fronts. The band were everywhere; a sizable logo adorned the stage backdrop, the free t-shirts had successfully made their way onto members of the crowd and soon enough the band were well and truly making themselves known. Yes, the riffs and the barks are a serious throwback to classic rock’n’roll, but The Goddamn Electric execute with such skill and sincerity as to banish any lazy comparisons you start to make. Enjoyable, funky and heavy as hell, they made a stonking impression and left the stage to well-earned applause from an appreciative crowd.

The punters were standing strong and still had plenty left in the tank by the time penultimate act Pigeons In Motion got underway. With catchy guitars and heartache vocals they showed flashes of a pre-‘Dookie’ Green Day, whilst the ‘Superbad’-esque dance moves and lively on-stage banter showed they were game for a laugh. The band were admirably flexible and always shook things up just when you thought you had the measure of them. A stirring set from a band with no little potential.

Malokai were assigned the task of wrapping up the evening and to say that they did so vigorously would be a gross understatement. The intensity levels spiked nearly as starkly as frontman Alex’s hair, as the band went about splicing pop, punk and screamo in their own unpredictable manner. Clearly these guys are seriously serious about their music, but the whole set kept you guessing in which direction you would be thrown next, and in the midst of it all they were happy to ease up and go to town on a Jesse J number. It was a barnstorming finish to a night that pulled no punches and showcased so many impressive performances.

Sean Gibson

 



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