So on the hottest day of the year so far we headed to The Deaf Institute, Manchester for the first of the launch gigs for Divides the eagerly awaited follow up to King Of Conflict by indie rockers The Virginmarys.
The launch gigs which were sold out within hours of the announcements form part of a series that includes a number of acoustic record store sessions and band meet and greets.
Apart from the music, the strength behind any band is the loyal grass roots fans who tonight have come by the coach load from the their home town of Macclesfield which gave the night a real homecoming gig feel.
The buzz around the crowd before the gig was electric with talk about who liked which new
song and who had attended the acoustic record store set that had happened the previous day but it soon turned to euphoria when Ally, Matt and Danny took to the stage.
‘Push The Pedal’ with its slow burning start got the crowd dancing and by ‘Halo’ and ‘I Wanna Take You Home’ the place was literally bouncing with the mic stands and monitors visibly moving such was the the release of passion and energy from the charged crowd.
A passion that was matched totally by the band in their highly energetic delivery of new and old songs alike. Danny Dolan on drums as ever is highly expressive as he batters the life out of his poor kit and manages to break drumstick after drumstick. With sweat dripping off him Ally’s passionate delivery of the vocals and precise powerful quick riffs showed how much they were enjoying the music and having chance to finally tour the new material.
The energy was kept up right to he end of the main set with ‘Motherless Land’ and ‘Just A Ride’ before a final encore of ‘Moths To A Flame’ and ‘Bang Bang Bang’.
Being a relatively newcomer to the Virginmarys I can see why they have attracted and kept such a loyal fan base as the personal connection between band and fans is very noticeable
both on and off stage.
Such is the style and energy of this three-piece band that the music and energy could easily transfer to much larger venues and indeed in a few months they are out on a UK-wide tour.
Support for tonight’s gig came from Leeds based Fizzy Blood who came out to an already packed house and gave the crowd their all. A highly energetic band with a punchy punky delivery. ‘Patience’ and ‘Animals’ stood out but at times it seemed that the small stage was constraining their on stage performance. They even managed a cowbell for last track ‘January Sun’.
An awesome, somewhat sweaty night was had by all.
Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley
Virginmarys:Push the Pedal/ halo/ I Wanna Take You Home/ Dead Mans Shoes/ Portrait Of Red/ Walk In My Shoes/ Into Dust/ Kill The Messenger/ You’ve Got Your Money I’ve Got My Soul/ For You My Love/ Free To Do Whatever They say/ Running For My Life/ Dressed To Kill/ Falling Down/Motherless Land/ Just A Ride. Encore: Moths To A Flame/ Bang Bang Bang
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