LIVE REVIEW: nothing,nowhere. @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester (21/10/2018)

Credit: Promo

Date: October 21st 2018
Venue: The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Support: Sullii / Lontalius
Website: None available


Joe Mulherin, better known under his nothing,nowhere. pseudonym, made the difficult decision to cancel his visit over to the UK earlier this year, during which he was set to perform sets at Reading & Leeds Festival. Instead, he took some downtime to focus on his mental health – undoubtedly the correct decision, no matter how hard it may have been.

After focusing on himself, and conquering his anxiety and depression coming out on top, Mulherin is rejuvenated and back on the road again, returning back to the UK to continue promoting his recently released third full-length offering, ‘Ruiner’.

British newbie Sullii [6], the solo guise of Crooks frontman Josh Rogers, is making his live debut with this new emo meets R&B venture of his. Despite being only a few months into the project, he’s already got the crowd singing along to ‘Pallettown’ and ‘Ponyo’, and ‘Kodama’ is also a highlight.

As always, Rogers has an impeccable voice that seems to hit every note with ease and finesse, and he’s accompanied by a bandmate onstage, playing some minimal guitar bits whilst a backing track runs with the vocals reduced on the mix slightly. However, admittedly that’s what sheds and reveals the infancy of this project, but with a few kinks in the live production Sullii could soar.

New Zealand’s Lontalius [6] (or, if you’d rather, Eddie Johnston) is even more minimalistic in his approach than the evening’s opener. Standing alone onstage with just a guitar in hand, he plays through several bare bones and emotional cuts, like ‘It’s Not Love’, ‘Kick In The Head’, and ‘Mooncatch’.

It’s a solemn lead up to the headliner, and normally something a bit more upbeat and energy inducing would be the perfect fit at this point, but at an emo gig like this with everyone clad in black and swooping fringes aplenty, it’s more than apt. It’s hard to tell what Johnston is saying mid-song, and there’s an ever-returning urge for a bit more emotion to shed, but Lontalius remains a fit choice for support.

For the first time all night, a full band occupies the stage with Mulherin, and finally nothing,nowhere. [9] makes a highly awaited return to Manchester. The room is packed out, and from the off with the catchy heart tugger ‘Clarity In Kerosene’, Mulherin is pacing back and forth across the stage and commanding the room without a hitch.

Part of what draws such a fandom to nothing,nowhere. and his work is his fervor to openly and courageously confront and discuss the daunting and at times crippling crux surrounding depression and anxiety, along with the all too relatable struggles with every day relationships with others. Recent single ‘Dread’, the self-deprecating and pessimistic ‘Hopes Up’, and the pissed off ‘Skully’ are just a few open wounds that he bears tonight, and with the bulk of a backing from some live instrumentation, it only makes their message more impactful.

All of this, coupled with a loop of a home movie compilation as a backdrop adds a real human and raw edge to nothing,nowhere.‘s performance, and, again, it’s this relatability which shines through and through.

There’s a bit more of a swing and a pop-gleamed bounce with ‘Hammer’, which gets the room bouncing, and with a quick flee and return of ‘I’m Sorry, I’m Trying’ as an encore to close things off, the Massachusetts emo rapper proves that there’s no shame in exposing your pain and being vulnerable.