Car Seat Headrest (‘I have one of them in my car!’ says everyone when brought up) released a fairly decent rock album last year, somehow crawling to the top of Channel Audio’s albums of 2016, and now we have the tour, Manchester Gorilla being just one of the many stops. It was a fairly decent rock show, I guess.
The music of Car Seat Headrest is akin to a twenty something year old’s anxieties and disappointments, twisted into songs with smart hooks and guitar noise, and live it feels like such thoughts are being projected on stage exclusively for the listener in question, each track sticking to the brain with no desire to let go. Everyone has had the sensation of wanting to leave a party ASAP as sung in ‘Vincent’, and depression? Well, you just need to ‘Fill in the Blank’ on that one.
Some of the quieter moments, especially from tracks released prior to Teens of Denial, were sometimes (often) met with crowd chatter waiting for that next hook to latch onto, which is a shame, as the likes of ‘Maud Gone’, and ‘Famous Prophets (Minds)’ are packed with moments to sway to, moments to fade to. You can’t control the crowds unless you’re Jon Bon Jovi, so those who wanted it all just had to focus and feast on the musical rewards they would hear.
The big numbers, the hits, the best of the rest, created a suitable frenzy though, with ”Destroyed By Hippie Power’s and ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ offering enough mope, enough noise, and enough of it all to get everybody screaming ‘It doesn’t have to be like this’ again and again, or ‘It’s more than what you bargained for, but it’s a little less than what you paid for’ whilst staring at their reflection in a plastic beer cup lying by their feet.
It all ended with some of the goofiest dancing I’ve seen since Tim Darcy of Ought let out his moves a few years gone, maybe a way to retaliate against all the nerd comments Will Barnes has been dealing with in recent live shows, or perhaps that’s just how he likes to dance to the wild and full of style ‘Connect the Dots (The Saga of Frank Sinatra)’ and that’s fine, there was energy, it was more fun than any dramatised stomping. And you can’t front on that.
A fairly good show all in all, we can go with that.