POPULAR MANCHESTER REVIEW
POPULAR MANCHESTER REVIEW BY KATIE SHEPHERD
Popular Manchester joined forces with Beatwolf this past Thursday to present the third night of the UK tour boasting Laurel Collective, Montage Populaire, and Love for Zero as well as Popular presents Carousel. Trof Fallowfield, home to Popular Manchester, hosted the night once again and provided the intimate setting for seeing the bands everyone is buzzing about up close. With free entry and also being the first warm day Manchester had seen in months, the night held with it the potential to be a good one and fortunately, did not disappoint.
The evening belonged to Laurel Collective to be sure. These guys do something special. Unable to be locked into a set genre, the five-piece make experimental Indie music that is unmissable. After a great deal of success a few years prior with nods from the likes of BBC Introducing as well as major performances like at SXSW, the band pulled back for a bit of re-configuration of their sound and it has certainly paid off. Their latest single “They Hate Me” is infectious in both its rhythms and vocals and is stirring up a great bit of excitement around their upcoming album release Heartbeat Underground due out in May. This is the album you will want to have on your iPod for summer.
If their performance on the Beatwolf tour was any indication of what these five are capable of, you are also going to want to find any opportunity you can to see the band live this summer. Toss out the technical difficulties on the night and these gents put on a show made for festivals in room capable of holding only a hundred people. They were everywhere; on the tables, down the stairs, around the balcony. Their energy is refreshing when compared to stereotypical stoic indie bands and the sounds created off of their percussion set up were spot on. One fan who knew every word to every song even felt compelled to offer vocalist Bob Tollast a beer between songs which he took with a smile and a “Cheers”. He deserved the round; they all did really. Laurel Collective are something special. Far from average when so much music is these days, they offer a complex sound that washes over the ear with natural ease and live performance that’ll get you talking.
Lauryl Collective were joined on the night by three other bands certainly worth giving a listen. Carousel are a relatively new group based out of Liverpool who are working to create their own exploratory sound. Their standout performance was during the song ‘The Charm Offensive’ which is definitely one to check out. Also on the night was Manchester-based Love for Zero who have created quite a bit of hype and are a part of the Beatwolf record label. With a smooth indie rock sound, the guys gave an energetic performance and drew a solid home-town crowd. They seem to be everywhere and have huge summer plans to open for the likes of The Kooks and Example also hosted by Beatwolf. Montage Populaire took the stage third and offered a bit of something different on the night. They were a bit more brooding than the rest of the bands but have a certain funky electric brightness which is accentuated by their use of brass.
Beatwolf and Popular joined together to make another successful evening of new music rising through the cracks. All of the bands on the night have new music coming out in the next few months that should offer a lovely soundtrack to summer. Look out for more nights hosted by both Popular and Beatwolf in the near future.
April 26th will be FREE ENTRY at Trof Fallowfield with Strangers headlining who are signed to Beatwolf, supported by Mad Colours and Liverpool's The Tea Street Band who recently played with Tom Vek.