The first of two consecutive shows in London, with a gig at XOYO the following day, and Manchester Orchestra claimed not to know anything about this one until a few days earlier. Honestly we were lucky to get tickets to this, with both shows completely sold out when I check a few weeks earlier. A couple of days before the gig my mate checked again and they’d put a few more on sale, which again sold out pretty quickly.
For those who haven’t heard of them Manchester Orchestra are an indie rock band from America. I guess you could liken them to Kings Of Leon. On stage tonight they claimed to be bringing guitar music back to a country that’s fallen out of love with the instrument. I’m not sure what they mean there, but then I don’t really keep up to date with all the current music trends.
Proud Camden is a really cool venue for a gig. It’s the first time I’ve been here and I can imagine it being perfect for club nights too. There are plenty of different rooms, including the ‘stables’ area, each little section of which is named after a famous racehorse. One of these areas is a bar, a couple tonight are set aside for the various bands on the bill, and one is even set up as a mini second stage. There’s even an outside space with another bar and deckchairs which would be a perfect chill-out area in the summer. It was cold tonight though.
The main stage area was packed before Manchester Orchestra took to the stage with Weezer’s Buddy Holly playing. The music was cut straight away but the band and audience all carried on singing it acapella, which was cool! It was a relatively short set tonight as the band didn’t have very long on stage, and they played for about half the length of time they’ve been playing on other dates on this tour.
Still, it was an excellent show – I love watching Manchester Orchestra live, they’re a great band. They’re one of few bands I know with an occasional second drummer, who also plays keyboard and provides backing vocals. The twin drummer parts work really well, and it’s great to watch.
The setlist was a kind of mini greatest hits, concentrating on Mean Everything To Nothing, their big hit album, kicking off with Pride which has some great slow and heavy guitar work in it and closing with The Only One which has some great slide guitar. So they were right about bringing guitar music back.
(Buddy Holly) / Pride / In My Teeth / Now That You’re Home / Shake It Out / My Friend Marcus / April Fool / I’ve Got Friends / I Can Barely Breathe / The Only One