(Pic: The Concretes)

The Winter of Deaf Content


25/11/10 We Have Band support by Run Toto Run

3/12/10 The Concretes support from Chad Valley
6/12/10 Matthew Dear support from Darkstar


While most touring bands tend to ease up on their never ending rounds of nightly booze ridden shows and pain staking long tour bus journeys and venues make space for office parties suffocated by shooters and the sounds of Cheryl Cole the Deaf Institute have continued to lure in both students and music fans alike with their ever increasing impressive line up of regular DJ nights, break through acts and touring bands.


The end of November saw the return of the trio We Have Band to Manchester promoting their Easter album after a string of festival dates including Fallowfield’s own Parklife and a summer stint in Europe. Support from Run Toto Run with synth melodies, disco beats fronted by the whispering songstress Rachel Kitchenside got the crowd firmly in the mood for the return of WHB at Deaf.


At times WHB have hints of genius, the only problem is these short sparks of excitement all hint at previous bands. At times you are convinced you’re listening to New Young Pony Club until the next minute when a Joy Division take over for a track with some Joy Division sprinkled on for good measure. While they are a tick list for everything that should be filling floors and filling the XFM play list, they seemed to have not managed to find their own personal path within a sea of bands filled with drum machines, pedals and enough DI boxes to fill a phone box.


I visited Deaf again in early December, as I was excited about the return of the Concretes after their four year break. The delightful Swedish blond mumbling singer It’s Victoria Bergsman fucked off to Pakistan and released her solo project Taken By Trees’ ‘East Of Eden’, The Concretes still feel that laid back feel to them which inspires slow drinking, sunny days and squeezing the current crush stood next to you rather than euphoric arm raised dancing, but that’s not a bad thing. Their unique selling point is their lack of a clear sound, and lets face it, no one ever complained to Ian Brown they couldn’t understand him and he didn’t have the excuse of being foreign. Classics such as “Can’t hurry love” and “Say something new” were met with deserved enthusiasm by the half empty theatre, (blame the 6” of snow, arse freezing temperatures and road closure not the Concretes). While stand out new tracks included the slowed down disco track ‘Good Evening’ and ‘Oh My Love’ for it beautifully brooding vocals.


My most recent venture to Deaf was snow free but still nipple bitter cold to investigate the phenomenon that is  Matthew Dear (live). I was seduced by word live being in brackets on the posters. Matthew Dear is more known for his work as a DJ and dance music producer, having remixed tracked for artists such as  The XX, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Spoon, Hot Chip, The Postal Service, and Chemical Brothers. (Live) there is slight Hot Chip-ness about him, which he seems to style himself as the Hurts with a kinky PVC trouser twist. He had the PA cranked up, the speakers buzzing and floor shaking as the crowd got more and more into his seemingly aimless monotone voice backed by hypnotic electronics that bounced off every wall of the small venue.


So it’s official Deaf is where its at, for quirky wall paper, cocktails, paying homage to Spotify and student filled club nights. Plus with a live venue going from strength to steroid strength and with James Yorkston, Noah & the Wall already in the back for 2011 their reign over Oxford Rd is looking likely to continue.

Words / Photos: Jo Lowes - http://jojolowes.tumblr.com/

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