Transformer 2 (Bardo Pond, Liars, Godspeed You! Black Emperor)- Albert Hall, Manchester

Transformer 1 was a pretty special all day event at Manchester Victoria Warehouse earlier this year, you can read all about it here! The title comes from Lou Reed’s iconic album rather than robots in disguise, with bands influenced by such noise picked out to represent on the big day. Swans and The Fall were the big gets, but there were plenty of smaller bands waiting to be uncovered; have you listened to Suuns yet?

A Transformer 2 seemed to be a dead cert after such an ear-splitting set of shows, and yes, we got one. Check that line-up out in the poster image above… you got Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bardo Pond, Ben Frost, The Field, Sculpture, and more, more, more! Unfortunately, a month or so before, the event moved to the Albert Hall with only three bands intact. At least it wasn’t outright cancelled like All Tomorrow’s Parties and Safe As Milk festivities. Are lovers of noise a dying breed? Was everybody too busy getting it on with Metallica at Manchester Arena the same night? And could three bands recreate the magic of the enduring endearing day that was Transformer 1? Read on to find out… yes, yes, maybe. Continue reading

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Rise Against – 02 Apollo, Manchester

Rise Against are one of the good ones when it comes to the genre they live within. The pop punk with a slight sprinkle of emo (Wikipedia says hardcore punk, but I just don’t see it in a world of Black Flag and Dead Kennedys) uses politics as their central theme, to Rise Against it all, and it’s positive energising music which I loved as a teen when strumming away on my fake plastic guitar on Guitar Hero III. A whole bunch of time has passed since then, too much, too fast, too soon, and what do you know? I’m still having fun.
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Shabazz Palaces – The Deaf Institute, Manchester

So, I saw this space hop duo support for Flying Lotus and was suitably impressed, I even recall the felt album cover I promptly purchased afterwards which I spent far too long stroking. Far. Too. Long. As a support set they provided some wonderful minimalist space age beats, though with Flying Lotus’s huge cube of fun in the middle, the two were rather separate from each other, both playing in synch but without that true connection. A few years pass and here we are again, only this time the two are closer than ever as they headlined the Deaf Institute, and such space really is the place. Continue reading

Priests + Downtown Boys – Deaf Institute, Manchester

It was a double bill, two headlines co-joining to make a full night of noise! Downtown Boys and Priests played to the crowd with an equal share of the stage, both offering different forms of energy after London-based support act ‘No Home’ brought her raw energy alone, with just an electric guitar and powerful singing voice to set the mood for the night that was prickling with energy. Ears would twitch and shake at what was to come. Imagine that. A radical double bill, that’s what the Deaf Institute said. Continue reading