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Tag: Manchester

Live Review: Parcels at Manchester Academy 2

Darkness. The smell of BO and beer. The nondescript chatter and buzz of pre-show hype. Out from the dark, synth chords start pounding away as a slick guitar riff begins to ring out; the crowd instantly starts bopping away. Parcels have arrived. Straight off the back of their self-titled debut album, the Berlin based Aussie boys have been lighting up the European synth-pop circuit for years and after 2017’s collaboration with Daft Punk, they have been on everyone’s lips. I sat down with the band before they headlined Academy 2 to talk all things music, influences, and Christmas albums. When asked which genre Parcels would describe themselves as, Patrick (keyboardist and vocalist) said ‘I don’t think it’s important, and it’s not very easy to define. I wanna say pop music because that’s the mentality, kind of, but I don’t think people would instantly associate our sound with pop music,’ and as opener Comedown’s disco synths and jazz-like guitar solo suggests, Parcels are musically miles away from the formulaic music dominating most charts today. However, the intense audience reaction, plus their 1.8 million monthly Spotify listeners, shows this 5-piece has a great understanding of what clicks with a listener. As drummer Anatole puts it ‘in Berlin we were pretty influenced by music that was made to make people dance and we try to re-enact that in our lives shows cos there’s something really special about the whole audience dancing to your songs,’ and when smash single Tieduprightnow is finally delivered there isn’t a single member of the audience who can’t help but groove to this masterfully crafted funk hit.

That’s not to say the boys are all about fan service, as they admits that sometimes ‘we decide to mess with the audience, like after a heavy dance song we’ll play a really slow song’ which at points in the set can be frustrating, especially when the crowd desperately wants to just dance and sing along. These creative decisions might be a product of the youthful playfulness and self-deprecating nature of these lads, which is quite refreshing in a climate where bands take themselves and their reputation too seriously. Anatole even jokingly mocks Patrick when he tries to talk me through the pedals and effects they use to achieve their unique synth sound: ‘Oh the way we make sounds, hm it’s very interesting’ jokes Anatole in a faux intellectual voice. The joviality continues when discussing their Daft Punk collaboration: ‘they [Daft Punk] have inside helmets and outside helmets, the ones they wear on their album covers are the heavy duty ones, but in the studio they just wear smaller ones with better breathing space and holes in the side to listen, it’s pretty casual.’ When asked about future projects, keyboardist Patrick jokes about the possibility of a Christmas album, much to the instant disdain of his bandmates, although I for one would love a funk cover of All I want for Christmas Is You, and even John Lennon delved into the festive realm at one point.

That’s part of the quirky charm of Parcels, when the 8 minute long Everyroad is performed, which
Patrick called ‘liberating, as we weren’t trying to make a pop song, we just made it for ourselves
through jamming,’ guitarist Jules and bassist Noah climb up the stage and begin performing a David Byrne-esque minimalist dance. The crowd goes wild for it and you can see from their beaming smiles after their little choreographed moment they relish these moments of absurdity, although this referential moment is superseded by my highlight of the whole show, when Parcels’ display themselves as the collective they truly are. The five bandmates leave their various positions on the stage to form a single line at the front of the stage for the chilled Bemyself, showing the band off as a cohesive, creative unit in contrast to other bands that portray themselves as merely the FRONTMAN and co. If guitarist Jules wasn’t already the spitting image of George Harrison I would’ve forgiven you for not noticing the comparison earlier, but as they stated in our earlier interview ‘when song writing we would always sit down altogether and listen to demos to decide things together, from the instrumental side to lyrics. We never really wanted a main vocalist either; we wanted it to be like The Beatles.’ The impassioned sing-alongs, the creative harmony, the eccentric bandmates, and most importantly the fantastic songs; Parcels are on the Abbey Road to something special.

They leave us on IknowhowIfeel, a surprisingly slow track in contrast to their bigger dance hits but it makes perfect sense when Parcels deliver their last trick of the night. One by one, throughout the song, each band member leaves the stage, starting with the guitarist, and ending on the drummer. By leaving those responsible for the beat to continue by themselves, it installs the catchy tune into the minds of the audience members much like a fade out on a record, so that when the drummer finally leaves the now empty stage, the audience carries on singing the tune without them even there. Genius.

Review by Noah Matthews

Interview: You Me At Six

You Me at Six have recently released their sixth studio album, aptly named VI. I
had the pleasure of speaking to lead guitarist Max Helyer about their new album
and their upcoming tour for Fuse FM.

Alana: First of all I’d just like to say thank you so much for taking the time to talk
to us at Fuse, it’s brilliant to be able to chat to you.

Max: ‘No worries, anytime’

A: So we’re talking about your new album and I feel like with this album
there’s a lot of energy and it kind of feels like a breath of fresh air. Do you
personally and as a band, feel proud of the album you’ve created?

M: ‘To be honest with you, you’ve absolutely nailed it on the head there Alana, it was
like a breath of fresh air for us as a band, ‘cause we were challenging ourselves to
listen and try and do something different and take inspiration from the music we
listen to which is quite a wide dynamic you know of how much different styles of
music we listen to so we tried to incorporate that into our record and like you
said really have fun with it music’s supposed to be about having fun and enjoying
yourself and I think that really does come across in the songs we’ve written for
this record. To be honest with you it was just a great experience and it all came
very naturally and the whole record was really formed around the space of 2
months, the majority of the record, so I think that shows we were on to
something. We were just having a great time being around each other, writing
and creating music in different ways that we’ve never done before.’

A: You’ve gone for a few different sounds in the album. Fast Forward is
rockier then you’ve got Back Again, which is slightly more indie sounding
and then 3AM where you’ve got synths and more of a pop sound. Is there a
reason that you wanted to get in a mix of different sounds?

M: ‘I think we’ve always had that element in our band but maybe to not the extremes people have heard like this before. I think really the most important thing was just capturing energy and moments and times in our
life that were going on in the last year or so and putting it down into music. Fast
Forward is quite an upbeat rock, quite loud in your face one but that was a time
when there was personal stuff going on in our lives, hence the reason you want
to fast forward through, you wanna get through some bad stuff and come out the
other side and it’s gonna be good. I think we had to match that kind of lyrical
content with the energy of the music as well and we felt something like rockier
was the right direction with that but then Back Again definitely, for me the
reason that song came from was trying to get a Friday night feeling going, when
people are switching off from Friday from work and going ‘right I’m going down
the pub and I’m going to get myself a gin and tonic and I’m going to have a great
weekend’, that sums up that song and same kind of with 3am as well it’s like,
who hasn’t had a night going out ‘til 3am and having a drunken stumble home
and just going through your phone, like I think everybody can kind of relate to
these moments in their life, we just kind of have our own way of interpreting

A: You’ve said that there were times when you had personal stuff going on,
are there any songs on the album that stood out as being particularly
challenging to make?

M: ‘I would say a challenging song was I.O.U. It’s a bit of mix-mash throughout that
song, it’s kind of got a bit of funk, it’s got rock and a bit of hip hop all into it and
it’s sections and for us we have the ideas we’re like ‘this sounds really good’ but
it was kind of gluing the puzzle together, getting it all perfectly in tact and like
‘how do we link this section to this section?’ and that was something that really
kind of happened in the studio. It was very natural but that was great because
when we worked on this record with a guy called Dan Austin he heard and
understood the vision that we had for that song and he was challenging us as
well, which enhanced the song and made it a better song. So that was definitely
one of the more challenging songs that we had to do on this record but one of the
best ones I think in my opinion.’

A: You’re also going on tour in November, are you excited to get back on the
road again?

M: ‘Yeah definitely. For us playing live shows is like our bread and butter,
something we’ve always done and we’ve been doing it for about 12/13 years
now so for us live shows are really important, and I think that’s where people
can understand. I think if you like us on record you’ll love us even more live. I
think there’s a bit more of an energy that doesn’t maybe sometimes cross over
onto our record. And we’re also doing a 10 year anniversary tour for our first
record and the response to that has been overwhelming, we’re all humbly
surprised by that and to see that there’s a record that we’ve made that’s stood
the test of time for 10 years and people still want to see that is something that
we’re all very proud of.’

A: And you’re playing in Manchester on the 23rd and 24th of November at the
Victoria Warehouse which is a great venue so hopefully you’ll have a lot of fun there. Is there a particular place you love playing?

M: ‘We’re looking forward to playing Manchester because we’ve actually never
played the warehouse before. We’ve done all the academy’s, we’ve done the
Apollo a fair few times now and we’ve done the Manchester Arena as well so for
us to play a new venue in Manchester, I think we’re all sitting there being like
‘let’s see how this goes’ ‘cause we’ve heard great reviews about the venue from
friends and bands who’ve played it before and said it’s one of the best shows on

A: As you’ve said you’ve been a band for a pretty long time, does it ever get
tough spending a lot of time together and how do you stay grounded as a

M: ‘I would say we’re like a band of brothers to be honest with you. Our friendship
and our bond has grown strength to strength over the years. We’ve gone through
good times, we’ve gone through bad times and I think that’s kind of developed us
into the band and who we are, you know, when you have all those things that
happen in your life. We’ve done it from a very early age, we started the band
when we were like 15/16 so I think we’ve grown together and I classify them as
my family now and even all their mums and dads, it’s all extended family. So to
us we have a great time doing what we do and I think that’s the most important
thing and I think that’s the reason why our new record sounds fun and energetic
because that’s our outlook on life just have fun and enjoy yourself. You know
we’re very lucky to be making music after all this time so you know let’s just
enjoy it as much as we can.’

A: Has there ever been anything go catastrophically wrong whilst you’ve performed?

M: ‘There’s definitely been a few moments in our career, I won’t tell you all of them
but the one I remember recently, it was about last year or the year before when
we played Reading Festival and we had a massive power cut during our set but
the one thing that was working was Josh’s microphone so he did an acapella of
one of our songs while we were all waiting for the power to come back but it
kind of created this moment like it was a memorable point and we got all the
crowd singing along and it was just one of those things we looked at and we
didn’t even need the music, people were so in the zone that they were just like
‘yeh we’re into this’ it’s so different you know, so you can turn bad things that
happen on stage into great moments.  You’ve got to keep on your toes when you’re playing live, you encounter many
things, it’s just how you react and deal with it.’

A: Well it sounds like you saved it. I reckon you wereall right in the end.

M: ‘Yeh… we definitely were.’

You Me at Six perform in Manchester at the O2 Victoria Warehouse on the 23rd and 24th of November and their sixth studio album VI is out now. I reckon they’ve done more than all right

Interview by Alana Cook

Live Review: Welcome to the Warehouse 2018

Last Saturday saw the return of The Warehouse Project with their annual opening party, Welcome to the Warehouse. Packed with a cast of renowned DJs from around the globe, on top of marking what will be the Project’s final season at their Store Street venue, the opening night was sure to be on the calendar for anyone with so much as a passing interest in techno or deep house.

Wandering under the train tracks and queuing on a damp Mancunian evening, amidst the excitement of those in the queue, the event’s gritty familiarity was oddly warming. Making our way inside just after the final entry time of 9:30pm, we briefly got ourselves re-accustomed to the venue. The first thing to note is that there has been little change to the interior since last year, or if there has been, it definitely isn’t noticeable. The cavernous brick venue still holds its three impressive stages, meanwhile all the facilities, such as the bars and toilets remain in the same areas as before. This is not a criticism; rather an acknowledgement of the near-perfect formula that WHP have created in Store Street.

By the time of our arrival, music had already been playing for three and a half hours, with DJs like Or:La and Willow in full flow. While it is always painful to miss a set, especially from names that would top other bills, it was especially so when a superstar like Mall Grab is scheduled from 9-11pm, starting half an hour before the listed final entry. While we were able to be there for the latter half of it, I know that we weren’t the only ones who were annoyed to have not caught the whole two hours. The set in question was more techno based than many would have expected from the Australian, punctuated mainly by a heavy four to the floor pulse, as opposed to the house sounds he is best known for. This was perhaps to be expected at this notoriously techno-heavy event, and as such, he found the crowd to be very receptive.  Veterans to his DJ sets however may have been less surprised – it’s rare that Mall Grab lets himself be confined to any genre.

Following on, next to the main stage came the South Korean, Berlin based DJ Peggy Gou. With her meteoric rise in the past couple of years, now surely to be counted amongst the biggest DJs in the world, Gou made her return to Store Street for her second performance at the Warehouse. Following on from the high crowd expectations set by Mall Grab as well as her towering reputation, Gou delivered a thumping, party driven set that was sure to have met every expectation. Our eyes were peeled for the raised shoes, a common sight at her gigs, and we were not disappointed in that regard. Expect her to be a mainstay at whatever venue the Warehouse Project finds itself in the future. One drawback- as has often been the case at past events, was the slight overcrowding in the main room, despite the presence of DJ Seinfeld and Lone in Rooms 2 and 3 concurrently.

As the clock rolled around to 1am the audience had begun to thin out slightly, surely towards Midland in Room 2 (sadly missed by these writers). However, it was a necessary sacrifice as playing in the main room was Berliner Dixon, a veteran always touted among the very best, and a DJ we had been aching to see. Definitely our most anticipated act of the evening, it was an undoubted climax, providing two hours of captivating, unpredictable, yet always pounding rhythms sounds that bowled its listeners over. With any of Dixon’s work in the form of mixes, singles, or albums being so scarce in recent years, this was a set that had been prepared for on hype alone, and even then we were shocked by the pairing of power and composure he brought to the decks, with one of many highlights being 5udo’s breakout banger “One,” which seemed tailor made for the Warehouse Project sound system.

With the crowd dissipating and the evening increasingly feeling like an endurance event (not helped by the puzzlingly early last entrance), we decided to call it a night.  On stumbling out of Store Street at 4am, complete with ringing ears and sweat-covered shirts, everyone was unanimous in their praise. While what the future holds for The Warehouse Project may be as yet unknown, for now it undoubtedly remains the top electronic event in a city with plenty of competition.

Reviewed by Ollie Hastings and Adam Tamimi

Live Review: Bishop Nehru at Band on The Wall

In 2014 Bishop Nehru and MF Doom teamed up for NehruvianDoom. Nehru brought the bars, Metal Face brought the beats. Bishop Nehru was 18 years old. What were you doing at 18 years old? I’ll tell you what I was doing. I was being dragged out of dodgy Manchester indie clubs for vomiting indiscreetly on the bar. Nehru was making tracks with Doom. Now, at the ripe old age of 21, one of the world’s most hyped hip hop artists is back with his official solo debut: Elevators: Act I and II.

Doom looms large on Elevators – he produced half of it, after all. Kaytranada took the reins on the other half, giving Acts I and II pretty distinct vibes. ‘Act I: Ascension’ is identifiably Kaytranada and ‘Act II: Free Falling’ is clearly Doom’s work. Nehru’s latest live shows then, provided him with the opportunity to step out from the enormous shadows cast by one of the all-time greats and one of the biggest names, of any genre, of the last few years. Not content to stand in their shadows – ‘cuz like I’m third wheelin’, I know I don’t wanna be there’ – Nehru stepped out.

The show at Manchester’s historic Band on the Wall gets off to a fairly chilled start. The crowd – like every coffee ordered in the Northern Quarter since 2015 – is flat and white. Nehru talks about his plan for the set. Different vibes, he says. Early on, some of his classic early 90’s-style tracks. As he moves up to Elevators, some jazzier stuff. ‘Rooftops’, the song from which the above lyric is taken, is a standout. His delivery is flawless throughout and the room picks up quickly.

Forty-five minutes in and Nehru really turns it on, with something he wrote when he was 15… ‘Welcome’ is a J Dilla classic (‘DFTF’) that features an insane final verse. The music stops abruptly and the crowd falls silent. Nehru continues rapping, quickening all the time. As everyone in the room begins to realise they’re witnessing something special, the crowd stops dancing too. As he spits the final bar, it erupts. The rest of the set is a party.

To paraphrase Dilla, Bishop Nehru still has some way to go; but on this evidence, he won’t be third wheelin’ anymore.


– Reviewed by Billy Godfrey

Live Review: Peter Perret at Gorilla

Peter was supported by Bad Parents, who had a slow start in front of a still thin crowd. However, their closing track ‘You Can’t Date a Model’ – previously a Steve Lamacq 6 music recommends – drew a warm response as the Peter Perrett Posse started to arrive and get into the spirit of things.

Peter came out to a raucous welcome. The goodwill for Peter – who has battled addiction problems for many years – was palpable, with frequent back and forth between the former Only Ones frontman and his audience. Perrett was witty (‘Any United fans in? Good of you to come all the way up from London’), charming, and seemed genuinely grateful for the support. His set consisted of a mix of tracks from his new album ‘How the West Was Won’ – the title track of which was a strong point – and classic Only Ones tracks.

He was joined on stage by his two sons, playing bass and lead guitar respectively. Both were impressive and evidently delighted to be able to share in their Dad’s comeback. But, for all the brilliance of his youngest son’s guitar solos and the absurdity of his vampiric, criminally underused keyboardist, it was clear that the crowd were waiting for the highlight track.

At last, to close his first encore, Peter obliged. ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ had the
crowd bouncing like back in ’78. When he left the stage for the final time, the overwhelming sense was of not only satisfaction with a good gig, but a broader compassion for Perret – perhaps summed up by one punter’s particularly memorable interjection: ‘its good to see back on your feet, Peter.’




Dan McDonagh and Richard Pitts for Fuse FM.

Live Review: Dekmantel at WHP

It has now been 11 years since the Warehouse Project’s inception back in 2006. Over its lifetime Warehouse Project have established a reputation for presenting some of the finest club nights the UK has to offer, playing host to several blockbuster line-ups over their annual 12-week stints. You get the sense that co-founder Sam Kandel started the Warehouse Project as a real labour of love to electronic music, and this passion still resonates with the thousands of party goers attending each week. In my 3 years living in Manchester, I myself have been lucky enough to witness some of my favourite acts in Store Street from Four Tet to MIA.

Times have changed since 2006 however, and Warehouse Project has become a pricey affair with tickets now costing around £40. A sick chirpse article from 2013 also claimed Warehouse Project have introduced clauses in artist contracts stating that they will not play another Manchester venue that year. This news garnered criticism from smaller local clubs as such monopolisation of the scene unfairly prohibits competition. Never the less, Warehouse Project still has a special place in heart of Manchester, especially amongst its gargantuan student community.

Dekmantel on the other hand, have a reputation all their own, as an Amsterdam based music company they run one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world. Dekmantel have also dropped many stellar records as a label, boasting releases from heavyweights like Robert Hood and Joy Orbison. Needless to say, it’s easy to imagine Warehouse Project and Dekmantel collaborating to create a special night and my expectations were high.

Arriving 10 minutes late, due to the ever-unpredictable traffic of Curry Mile, the door staff were extremely friendly with me and my girlfriend, and we were shortly ushered through the abattoir-esque plastic flaps hanging in the entrance. Inside, I stepped into room 1 and assimilated myself among the masses of sweaty bodies. Here Fatima Yamaha greeted me with a utopian LED wind farm animated across his stage set up. Yamaha’s trademark saw tooth synth waves blasted through the room effortlessly bouncing from groove to groove. In what felt like no time at all, Fatima flowed through his hour-long set arriving at ‘Araya’ which almost took on anthem status as it built slowly whirling the crowd into a fever, before erupting to a climax.  

Next up in room 1 the exciting, up and coming Shanti Celeste and Call Super were playing back to back. I had never seen either DJ live but I was excited to see what they had to offer after enjoying the recorded exploits of Call Super and seeing both acts recently make Crack magazine’s 50 most exciting DJs list 2017. After staying for around 20 minutes I certainly found aspects to admire from their set however, this admiration was perhaps diminished by the fact Fatima Yamaha is a very hard act to follow. As is often the case with Warehouse Project each room has a fantastic line up, so I headed for Room 3 to check out Interstellar Funk. Having known very little about Interstellar funk I was pleasantly surprised by his set of minimalist techno. I found a lot to like about the energy he delivered and so did the crowd around me which grew noticeably as people were attracted to the room throughout his performance.

Next up, I headed back to Room 1 to catch the legendary Robert Hood who is often dubbed the founder of minimalist techno. Hailing from the techno capital of Detroit, Hood has played a historically recognised role in the progression of the scene as a founding member of the ‘Underground Resistance’. This was my first time watching Hood and I was quite excited to see what he would deliver. Hood brought an assured performance to the Warehouse which had the air of an old pro doing exactly what he does best. Alongside a truly seizure inducing light show his thudding Detroit-techno set was simply a joy.

After marvelling at the exploits of Robert Hood I watched the opening of an erratic high bpm set from fellow techno heavyweight Marcel Dettman. Dettman’s sound followed well from Hood’s and kept the room alive as the night entered its penultimate hour. I was very aware however, that during this time Palm Trax had started in room 2. As a big fan of his releases on Lobster Theremin, I have been trying (and failing) to catch one of Palm Trax’s sets for the past 2 years. Palm Trax’s eclectic set strewn was with his trademark retro synths and samples of decades gone by. This sound was quite the change of pace from Room 1 but as the night begun to wound down for me this change was welcome. At around 5:00AM I left Store Street both fairly knackered and fairly chuffed with the insane quality of music I had witnessed. My only regret from the evening had been arriving too late to catch late additions to the bill JuJu and Jordash, who unfortunately drew the short straw warming the crowd for Fatima from 10:30pm.

In many ways the Warehouse Project was always destined to become a victim of its own success. Even with line ups this good I often struggle to justify the cost of these nights on a student budget. With crowds that now also gather due the Warehouse Project’s leviathan reputation rather than the acts themselves, people nowadays have criticised that many no longer come to appreciate the music. Snobbery aside, I would be lying if I said this wasn’t the latest in a string of superb nights I have enjoyed there, and as long as Warehouse keep delivering this standard of electronic music I must confess I will always be keen to return.


Jack Walker for Fuse FM

Live Review: Chase & Status at WHP

Once again, on Friday The Warehouse Project provided a line-up that filled the part-time carpark with entertainment to the early hours. On arrival, a combination between the sweaty dancers, the bass from the multitude of speakers and the anticipation for the evening ahead instantly warmed us up from the chilly Mancunian evening outside. In room one, we caught the end of Darkzy’s set – bringing Manchester his unique style of dark and moody bassline – before one of UK rap scenes most promising upstarts, AJ Tracey, hit the stage.

AJ definitely didn’t drop the metaphorical baton that Darkzy carried for the hour before him, as he kept the crowd as energised as his predecessor did. Blasting through tracks from his latest EP ‘Secure the Bag!’, he got the crowd shouting back the hooks to ‘Quarterback’ and JME-featuring ‘Alakazam’. Day-one fans were also pleased with inclusions from older projects like ‘Pasta’ and AJs collaboration with his pal and fellow rapper Dave ‘Thiago Silva’. Being able to captivate such a large audience at such a young age shows why AJ is getting traction from both sides of the Atlantic.

After that brief interlude from AJ was back to the main itinerary for the evening: drum and bass. Shy FX and Stamina MC hit the stage next, as the veteran DJ mixed a mixture of trap, grime, reggae and more with his signature bass sounds. The hour-long set built and built until the final climax: where he got everyone singing along to his remix of DJ Fresh and Ms Dynamites ‘Gold Dust’. After his set the sites and sounds of the other stages attracted our attention for a short while, with Redlight bringing some heat in room 2, until returning at the main room for My Nu Lengs set. As young DJs, it was impressive to see them hold their own on a night crammed with experts of the genre.

And now for the main event: Chase and Status stormed through an hour long set of blistering tracks including a whole host of their own tunes. Near the start was new hit ‘Step Away’ off their recently released fourth album, while they closed with universally-known banger ‘No Problems’. Its just a shame that their set was only an hour, as I’m sure they could’ve entertained the crowd for many more.

The night was closed with some of Mak & Pastemans set in room 2 before checking out Dimensions action-packed closing set, until the majority of the crowd left wanting to dance longer into the early hours. If you’re a fan of the line-ups or are oblivious to who the list of names are, Warehouse Project never disappoints as you are bound to find something that will keep you entertained til the morning. Take it from my mate who came up for his first WHP, ‘That was the best night of my life!’.


Jack Palmer for Fuse FM