WORDS: Laura McCarthy PHOTOS: Laura McCarthy
There are some evenings where you expect something good, but receive something great. Looking for something to entertain, and you can sometimes find something to inspire. So was it the cold, wet evening of the 14th of November, in Manchester’s Sound Control. The line-up this evening consists of BUFFALO SUMMER, SCOPRION CHILD and CROBOT. Hot, heavy tunes the very opposite of the climate outside.
BUFFALO SUMMER, from South Wales begin with a very surprising warm up set. Full of life and enthusiasm, their sound is very reminiscent of the bands they’re playing with this evening. It’s a good reception from the crowd, which is already fair sized for such early doors, and it’s a shame that not more had seen the openers. Andrew Hunt has a good voice, and a fair head of hair to bob, and Darren King in particular steals the stage with his antics, pulling faces, and chugging around the stage. The whole band seems to be enjoying themselves, and the music they make has decent grooves and a lot of heart. There could be a little more enthusiasm from certain band members now and again, but aside from this, with more shows under their belt and working with the likes of the upcoming bands, it will be a good when you see these guys at the headline of their own shows.
With a lead singer suffering from a very bad throat, and having battled through the last two days of it, you might expect that this performance would be a tad pulled back. However, Aryn Black gave one hell of a performance, with moves and intensity that would be impressive in a man at full strength. With a huge voice, and an amazing stage presence while the likes of Christopher Cowart on guitar, Alec Padron (or rather “Mexecutioner”), and Jon “The Charn” Rice produce riffs and beats of highly infectious southern rock variety.
AJ Vincent is described as heavy keys, and by god it couldn’t be truer. The sounds that man makes are phenomenal, and it’s probably the highlight of their set to see how he plays. This is a band who know their sound, and know how to impress a crowd. Black pushes though to the end of the set with such energy, getting as close to the crowd as possible, taking full advantage of this intimate space.
The men of the moment amble on stage like they’ve done this a hundred times. Actually, it’s more, with almost a solid year on the road, CROBOT are rearing to go, and the crowd with them. Throwing themselves headfirst into Legend of the Spaceborn Killers, it’s instantly obvious that the crowd love this. It’s hard to pick who is more impressive to watch, Brandon Yeagley with his octopus limbs and huge voice, throwing his long hair like some majestic primal dances, or Jake Figueroa, with equally impressive but altogether more massive hair, big flairs and some fat bass lines that rock throughout tracks like The Skull of Geronimo, and Cloud Spiller. Then there’s Bishop, with one impressive beard and more impressive guitar playing. The riffs throughout were completely phenomenal, bringing all the prowess of a guy who knows how to play and party on stage. With the likes of Wizards and La Mano De Lucifer, there were also some new tracks the guys have been working on whilst on the road, by the name of Welcome to Fat City, Edge of the Sun and Easy Money. Very much in keeping with the tone of the last record, it will be amazing to see these early versions on a new album sometime in the (hopefully not to distant) future.
These guys are immensely fun to watch, with the boys, scrunched up over their instruments one moment, completely in the zone, and the next throwing themselves together and enjoying the time on stage. Swithing and jumping, Yeagley takes full attention with his hilarious antics, air guitaring along, throwing himself on Bishops’ shoulders mid song, laying on the floor, fighting the guys off with his mic stand while they attack with guitar necks. Nowhere to Hide and Chupacabra go down like smooth tequila, the gathering transfixed but at the same time absolutely enthralled in the infectious good time.
If you were wondering why drummer Paul Figueroa had been left out of the list, it could be because we were leaving the best till last. The technique of his drumming is very interesting to watch, but more than that, he interacted as much with the others as any of the standing members of the band. Queen of the Light, while every bit a slow builder, demonstrated how much the fans love the power of each members playing, and the drums were no exception. However, the big crowd pleaser was surely The Necromancer, a tune as bouncy and awesome as the guys who play it. Massive, mental music, chunky riffs, funky drum beats, it’s all that rock and roll might be. The crowd, who are well and truly humming with sweat and excitement by now, the exhaustion only stilled by the adrenaline the guys instil, are treated to another new track before been blown away yet again by Night Of The Sacrifice, and then yet another epic new track. Although these newer tunes might be heard by fresh ears, it would be hard to tell with this crowd, as the faces are fulled with as much enjoyment at these as at the material they know and love.
The encore is not one to have missed, however, as the performance of the night goes to the display put on for Fly on the Wall. An epic evening, an epic song, and a whole lot of crazy people throwing themselves around to good, solid tunes with heart and passion. This is as authentic as southern rock gets. Genuine fun, big old tunes and a huge feeling of community. Watching people like CROBOT makes gigs on cold wet nights worth it.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery of the night’s action in Manchester: