A trip to Manchester is something I always look forward to. Its diverse and busy atmosphere gives the city an air of excitement. After a quick post on the BIMM Manchester Facebook Student Group to find out how best to fill our evening, we received a recommendation for a show and – my goodness – aren’t I glad we found it!
Initially an empty stage was worrying. Our expectant evening of Americana Blues was feared to have been lost but a moment before show time five budding, young musicians entered the stage, ready to show Night and Day what they had to give.
The lead singer, a mixture of a young Paolo Nutini and Stephen Fretwell, walked on. This denim clad young man with lyrics and melodies beyond his years stormed the stage and delivered a burst of Chicago Blues to the room. At first the audience remained stationary but a few bars of this foot stomping 12 bar brought them all forward and a crowd formed.
Carl North and his Lonely Hearts were in the building and despite the hiccups with equipment before the show they delivered a powerful, punchy set that genuinely surprised me. The instrumentalists played for the songs, leaving the lyrics and harmonies at the front of the audiences’ minds.
North protested several times: “It’s another soppy one I’m afraid, I do that a lot.” But honestly this wasn’t a problem: the emotion in the songs was exactly what the room called for, and the atmosphere was feeding from the sentiment in the lyrics and the energy from the livelier tracks.
My overall experience was, surprised yet pleased. I am so glad we ventured to Manchester Oldham Street for such a pleasant evening.