Lower Than Atlantis / Young Guns / Hands Like Houses / ROAM
Manchester Academy – 11/03/17
In a rain covered Manchester, following ROAM (6), Hands Like Houses (7) play a set that would have left a fantastic taste in everyone’s mouth. Polished, professional and full of character. The Canberra, Australia based lads showed their hand and had a Royal Flush. No bluffing from these guys. A brilliant way to kick things up a notch before Young Guns hit the stage.
This Lower Than Atlantis’ headline tour is filled to the brim with world class acts including High Wycombe based, Young Guns (7) who took to the stage of the Manchester Academy to the final speech from Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’. It’s always interesting to see what bands walk on to, others in the past to the Star Wars Imperial March and others to the Intro theme from ‘Stranger Things’. There may have been some significance as to the use of this speech but I wouldn’t like to speak for the band.
Young Guns and Lower than Atlantis in Manchester really feels like things come full circle. Gustav took time to stand on the stage and explain to the audience that as a band they have been playing for 9 years, previously playing to 25 people in a room in Manchester. Adding that no matter whether it is 10 or 1,000 Manchester, they’re always made to feel welcome. It really seems like Manchester as a city has always made them feel at home.
At this stage, Young Guns are nine years in and four albums deep as a band which really shows with their performance having a distinctive a veteran standard feel to it. The comfortability these guys have on stage creates a familiar atmosphere and draws in the crowd. Young Guns treated the Manchester contingent to songs spanning their entire history including ‘Weight of the World’, ‘Bones’ and ‘I Want Out’. With that kind of catalogue to choose from, creating a set list that satisfies everyone must be near impossible.
A fiery set from Young Guns, which followed the support acts: ROAM and Hands Like Houses, was no surprise as Young Guns rarely fail to entertain. Front man Gustav Wood and his polarising movements make for some impressive silhouettes and really captivates the audiences and he shifts and grooves across the stage. I don’t think Lower Than Atlantis could ask for a better way to get the crowd pumped and ready for them to hit the stage.
Lower Than Atlantis (7) exploded onto a bizarrely empty stage. No amps, just a drum kit and mic stands. This is because they have figured out a way in which to get incredible sound from the PA system using some sort of witchcraft. One can assume that this knowledge and ability stems from the fact the guys have their own studio and guitarist Ben Samson has been producing numerous records while not occupied by his duties in the band.
With Lower than Atlantis now using no amps and sorcery during their live gigs, it was always going to be interesting to see what their new music sounded like. Well, it sounded HUGE. ‘Safe in Sound’ is tailor made for the bigger venues and doesn’t just fill the room with volume but quality. Backing tracks that fit within the mix without taking away from the core instruments and vocals. No mean feat and something to be admired. These lads are changing the game and people don’t even seem to realise.
One thing to note is that these guys clearly spend time coming up with how to set themselves apart. They have brought along cameras to attach to their microphone stands that gave us a close-up and personal view of the band as they blasted their way through a set crammed with LTA hits.
Frontman, Mike Duce, did seem to be struggling with his voice and let the crowd know. However, those in attendance were more than happy to lend their voices and belt for Mike. Musically, there was nothing wrong with LTA it did seem like a muted performance without Mike to lead the charge.
It has to be said that those who went surely got their money’s worth with four fantastic bands showcasing what the rock scene is all about.
Check out more live photos of Lower Than Atlantis from this show here!
Review: Will Paddison
Photography: Danny Peart Photography