This week’s event was the showcase for upcoming talent: ‘Nightfish’. It featured two bands of distinctly different sounds and was a great follow-up to the disappointing Manchester derby – many-a-fan needed cheering up after that 0-0 draw!
First up was ‘Head in the Sky’ with their funky brand of alternative rock. Consisting of Conor Dawson on vocals/rhythm guitar, bassist Emmanuel Fantasie, Charles McHugh on drums and Andy Gurski on lead guitar (who was missing from the live show), the band delivered a set full of catchy songs and sing-along choruses. Ronoc’s lead vocals are soulful and have a slight gritty edge to the tone, making them the perfect forefront for the groovy basslines and punchy drums. Considering they’ve been together for just 18 months, ‘Head in the Sky’ possess the sound of an experienced band who are well-versed in the art of gigging. Conor and Charles name their influences as ‘Foo Fighters’, ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’, ‘Oasis’ and ‘Ocean Colour Scene’, all of which come through in their self-penned songs. The lack of lead guitar on the night didn’t seem to discourage them and Conor (who also leads a solo career under the moniker ‘Ronoc’) managed to combine both rhythmic chords and lead fills into his playing, which gave way to some nice interplay between Emmanuel and himself. ‘Madhouse’ was a highlight in the set for me and was a chance for each musician to showcase their jamming skills, with a drastic rhythmic change for the outro. Their upcoming plans are to record an EP for September-ish release, which they’re currently developing demos for, and to continue gigging.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside
Oasis – The Masterplan
Foo Fighters – Everlong
The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby
Slipknot – Wait and Bleed
Guilty Pleasure: One Direction – History
Second on the billing at ‘Nightfish’ were folk-ensemble, ‘That Beautiful Style’. Their set was much later than planned, which meant that the crowd wasn’t as large as they’d possibly hoped. At 6 members, they contributed to a third of the attendance! Still, they were undeterred by this and performed their quirky brand of punk-infused folk rock. They had an interesting array of instruments which included a melodica, harmonica and cajon drum – making the two guitars seemed relatively pedestrian by comparison. Fronted by singer/guitarist Ian, ‘That Beautiful Style’ blended a few rootsy genres together to create their own ragged sound, reminiscent of ‘Neutral Milk Hotel’ and any number of lo-fi folk bands to grace the music scene. The melodica, played by Jess, provided some nice arrangements to the pieces but did become a bit tiresome after 5/6 songs and is an instrument that really is hard to ignore. Lead guitarist Joe’s fills added another element to the sound, as he played some impressive tremolo-picked licks on his 12-string guitar, that were backed up nicely by Harry and his cajon drum. Nick was on harmonica duties but felt a bit underutilised and only appeared on a few songs, whilst the rest of the show saw him standing around, waiting to showcase his bluesy trills on the old mouth-piece. There was nothing overtly wrong about the band and maybe it could be due to having to adapt to the lateness-situation, but there were a few foibles that they could improve upon; structure the sets a bit better and know when/when not to use each instrument, instead of just using them whenever. Overall though, they were alright and have upcoming spots at ‘Hockley Hustle’ and with ‘Dean Jackson’ to name but a few. An EP is in the works too, which will be interesting to hear as they have very little online presence at the moment – you know what folkies are like with their technology eh?
Billy Joel – Piano Man
Nirvana – Come As You Are
Elton John – Can You Feel the Love Tonight?
Dizraeli & the Small Gods – Nevermind
Burning Hell – The Amateur Rappers
Steely Dan – Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number
Moody Blues – Go Now
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By Oliver Cobbin