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Alter The Press! Summer Tour 2011
Dry Bar Manchester - 2.8.11

Designer Magazine took custody of the Alter The Press! Summer Tour for a night at Manchester’s Dry Bar, kicking off a bumper week of gigs in some style. With some burgeoning out-of-town talents on show, complimented by top notch local acts, the evening guaranteed good times and most definitely delivered.

Leopards grace the stage first, thoroughly impressing as they happily skip their way between indie and pop-punk, crafting a promisingly original sound. There’s a touch of the old-school Bloc Party about the way Leopards’ guitar riffs intertwine, and with volleys of soaring vocals fired over the top, Leopards are pleasingly both catchy and complex. You can’t argue with free demo CDs either, it has to be said.

Preston’s Hope. Break. Legend. have proven themselves worthy of another booking in September even before tonight’s performance. They combine razor-sharp hooks and good old-fashioned hard slammin’ and their quality is never more evident than in their crunch-heavy reworking of Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’. With plenty of upcoming tour dates and their imminent expansion from a four to a five-piece, this is a band on the up and up.

Cuba Cuba of Wales are the first of ATP!’s pick of acts and don’t waste any time in showing us why. A set of consistently high quality was much appreciated by the crowd, as was their warm, casual demeanour; a band oozing confidence. ‘Angular pop’, they call it, and theirs is a truly uplifting sound, with greater depth and variety than many of their indie kin can boast. They’ve been garnering national press attention and if they keep making as many new friends as they did here then the buzz will only intensify.

London-based pop-rockers MiMi Soya take to the stage next to really get Dry Bar stomping. Frontwoman Jorja may be diminutive in size but she is truly massive in voice, hitting some cracking highs and truly tender lows. The beats are fast and punchy and the guitars are of the pop-punk variety, but it’s the singer’s soulful edge that adds an intriguing extra dimension to their sound. Top-notch stuff and thoroughly enjoyable – not hard to see why they’ve been bothering Kerrang Radio’s playlist, nor how they secured Kerrang TV’s ‘Video of the Week’.

That left it to Newcastle’s Boy Jumps Ship to round off the night, and oh boy they did that alright. Reminiscent of Feeder with their fast, irresistible rhythms and playing with the fluidity and grandiosity which have seen Young Guns shoot to success in the past eighteen months, Boy Jumps Ship are, in the true sense of the word, awesome tonight. No matter that they have no die-hards amongst Dry Bar’s punters, their set is an absolute lesson in performance. They have sheer force and intensity that few could hope to approach; less a four-piece, more just an absolute unit. If they can produce this with any kind of regularity then they will become simply unignorable, especially considering the broad crossover potential of their sound.

As the band exit the stage the crowd leaves happy, if slightly dumbfounded, after a special night of rock at Dry Bar. Plenty here worth keeping an eye on in the near future!

Sean Gibson


Designer Magazine unless otherwise stated.

All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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