The Royals / Super8 Cynics and guests
Dry Live Manchester - 7.4.11

As the generation’s most prolific social philosopher, Rebecca Black, eloquently theorised; Thursday comes before Friday. This fundamental law of chronology was thrown out of the window at Dry Bar Live last night, as Designer Magazine hosted a 14 + shindig of musical delights - on a school night.

Britpop fever was still alive and kicking in the in Dry Bar, a remainder of the Factory Records/Hacienda Empire. The Versions, members of the next generation of young Madchester fans, were first up. There was the obligatory Oasis cover – their version of Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (credit to the drummer for the sheer heart attack inducing effort displayed for that one). The energetic songs, with hints of the swagger trademarked by the likes of The Libertines and The Cribs, got the crowd moving and kicked off the night in fitting fashion.

The Royals provided a right regal marriage of reggae and indie: from dark and brooding Humbug era Arctic Monkeys bass lines, to brighter ska melodies and songs about summer. With clever, occasionally Turner-esque lyrics and imaginative cover choices of Bombay Bicycle Club’s ‘Always Like This’ and Rusted Root’s ‘Send Me On My Way’ (the one from Ice Age), The Royals were highlights of the night, far better than any Royal Wedding.

First timers The Arizonas were up next. After some support and encouragement from the audience, they launched into lively rock and roll, with some acoustic bits. Admittedly, I don’t think the song title ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Missing’ was intended as a cue for people to leave, but they brought an admirably sunny disposition to a “song about being worthless” and being “Surrounded by Idiots”, whilst winning the prize for best quality stage banter and dancing.

If you look up ‘slick’ in the dictionary, right next to a picture of the BP oil spill, there’s probably something about Super8 Cynics. From their sleek logo, website and image to their synthy pop sound. They provided infectiously feel-good melodies with somewhat darker lyrical content; an upbeat and modern twist on the likes of Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys. And with an album already in the bag, could they be going far? As a Super8 ball would say, ‘signs point to yes’.

As we’ve previously established, Thursday is a whole 24 hours away from the weekend, making it a ‘school night’. Due to this fact, and slight miscalculation involving the clocks going forward, at this point I had to depart. Meaning I unfortunately missed The Yellow Chantys and their sunshine folk rock, for which I am sincerely sorry. As punishment for this embarrassing unprofessionalism, I should probably go and listen to some more Rebecca Black.

Lucy Holt


Designer Magazine unless otherwise stated.

All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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