LIVE: Moose Blood @ The Star And Garter, Manchester (24/01/2015)

Date: January 24th, 2015
Venue: The Star And Garter, Manchester
Support: Simmer / Boston Manor / Choir Vandals
Website: None available


With a major expansion and redesign to Manchester’s Piccadilly Station just across the road in some serious talks at the moment, the future of The Star And Garter venue at the time of writing is a little uncertain. However, should the worst come to fruition, which would be the pub being forced to shut for approximately three years and, as a result, effectively put it out of business, at least it can claim it hosted some up-and-coming big names just before they broke, and tonight’s headliners Moose Blood are likely to slide right into that category.

First, opening up the band’s sold out Manchester show is fresh faced Cheshire outfit Simmer (**) who, though admittedly have a few patches of great ideas and riff work in their midst, they don’t really take off of the ground. Frontman Julius‘ voice sounds a little muddy and at times undecipherable in the mix, but ultimately, Simmer just need to keep practicing away and honing their sound.

Going down a bit more of a pop-punk route with things, Boston Manor (***) are starting to kick up a bit of attention recently and, though their general template for songs isn’t anything close to reinventing the wheel, they’ve definitely got a bit more heart and potential than most. ‘Here/Now’ and ‘Driftwood’ stand as particular set highlights and, given the right push, they could well be the next Neck Deep.

Heading over to our shores all the way from the state of Missouri, four-piece Choir Vandals (***) are definitely a little different to the rest of the bands on the line-up in style, but their passion and heart they clearly deliver throughout their set is undeniable. Frontman Austin McCutchen‘s vocals have a wonderous gravel-like edge to them, similar to that of Kurt Cobain, and their alt rock backdrop really enriches his contribution to the band’s framework.

However, it’s not until Moose Blood (*****) take to the stage that everyone settles in to the reason why they’re all here; to get sweaty and bounce around to a band who’ve shot up the ranks dramatically in the past year. After just a few songs in, fans are already clambering onto the stage before pouncing onto the crowd to surf across them, and songs like ‘Bukowski’ and ‘I Hope You’re Miserable’ just see the crowdsurfing ensue in abundance.

Frontman Eddy Brewerton‘s voice soars across the room, despite a few brief issues with his stage monitor and his mic stand being cast to the floor with the ongoing surge of fans darting across the stage. ‘Cherry’ is a particular highlight of his talents, a song that “means the world” to him, and shines through and through with the amount of emotion soaked in it. This is just a brief breather for a sweat filled show in The Star And Garter that alone not only strengthens the confidence in a bright future for Moose Blood, but also that there should remain a future for this venue in peril.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)