Guillemots - Manchester Night & Day  17/1.07

When the band is announced on stage, all eyes focus on the door at the front leading to the backstage area.  As the mutterings of  “Excuse me. Excuse me” get louder the capacity crowd turns around to see the band squeeze past them and the largest amount of pa equipment I’ve ever seen in the venue.   So is tonight going to be a series of surprises or is that it?  Well, with a clarinet and saxophone in the musical ensemble, the band isn’t going to be throwing out punk type ditties.  Their music is a warm, loving crafted affair that interleaves subtleties and nuances with catchy beats. Songs begin softly, build on the seemingly African tinged rhythms into shiny bright pop.

After a 3-week break from their last gig, the band take to the stage with enthusiasm and vigour.  Guitarist Greig Stewart gives the impression that he would prefer to bound across the stage rather than be constrained by the numerous leads and foot pedals that clutter the stage.

Fyfe Dangerfield is an engaging front man.  Despite the limitations of sitting (for he majority of time) at the keyboards that take centre stage, he shakes his body, moves and flings his head back to complement the emotions in the songs, as they waft out over a strangely polite crowd.   There’s no pushing or showing at he front, everybody has their own personal space.   Whether it’s because it’s a free show by Xfm rather than requiring paying punters but everyone seems to be having private conversations.   The person next to me complains about all the people at the front talking and then proceeding to spend 15 minutes gong on about his car.

With repertoire of songs that scream “Commercial Pop Success”, I doubt that the band will be too concerned especially when they enter into the Keane type level of success that beckons

Ged Camera

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