Maybeshewill - Moho Live Manchester - 5.10.10

Manchester’s Moho Live is a fantastic venue, tonight giving gig-goers four bands for the price of one (that price being a student-friendly £8), as well as some possible inner ear damage. For a small venue, Moho’s sound system is fantastic; a particularly important factor when it comes to hosting one of the finest instrumental bands the UK has to offer.

Maybeshewill are, usually, a three-piece hailing from Leicester. Tonight, however, they are a flawless four-piece, joined by their touring bassist Jamie Ward. And ably supporting them are Manchester’s own The Deceived, who combine angular guitar riffs and drum beats with emo-tinged vocals, delivering a satisfyingly heavy opening set, driven by a tight rhythm section.

Next in the line-up are Wayward Child, a female-fronted band whose set I admittedly struggled to watch. Half an hour of inoffensive power-chords and clichéd lyrics from the lead singer is, quite frankly, half an hour too long. So &U&I, the third and final support tonight, are an incredibly welcome and refreshing change. A blend of math rock and screamo, turning dirty little guitar hooks into massive grungy riffs, &U&I are definitely one to watch, for vocalist Thom Peckett’s impressive screams alone if nothing else.

Of course, everyone at Moho Live tonight is here for the headline act, the post-rock tour de force that is Maybeshewill. Reminiscent of 65daysofstatic’s finer moments, Maybeshewill effortlessly produce epic instrumental soundscapes, layering subtle, melancholy samples over melodic loops. This eventually gives way into a simultaneously brutal and absolutely gorgeous wall of sound, poignant enough to leave a lasting impression; loud and heavy enough to leave your ears ringing for the next 24 hours. Old favourites such as the wonderfully-titled ‘The Paris Hilton Sex Tape’ and ‘In Another Life, When We Are Cats’ are played faultlessly alongside the superb new single, ‘To The Skies From A Hillside’ (which is, by the way, available for purchase now and highly recommended), resulting in mass appreciation from the small crowd.

As is the case regarding some post-rock bands around right now, there is not one trace of pretentiousness to be seen on stage with Maybeshewill. All four musicians keep their heads down for most of the set, keeping a close eye on the notes they play, extremely focused on their performance. Maybeshewill rely on their music, rather than an elaborate stage show or over the top twenty-minute-long sagas of songs, which is what makes them so original. Post-rock artists do, arguably, have a tendency to occasionally get bogged down in the overuse of samples and loops and general noise in pursuit of an epic sound, resulting in a hundred tracks sounding staggeringly similar. Perhaps it is this lack of display and spectacle which makes Maybeshewill a very appealing band for an avid post-rock fan such as myself. Continuing on their extensive tour of the UK for the next couple of weeks, Maybeshewill will, with any luck, pick up an abundance of new fans along the way. They certainly deserve it.

Words: Ashley-Jane West

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