Monday, July 08, 2019

Castlefield Bowl: Sounds of the City 06/07/2019

Venue: Manchester's Castlefield Bowl
Capacity: 8,450
Status: Limited ticket availability 

A monster of a line-up accompanied by some rare Manchester sun combined together made for a night to remember. Previous performers of the festival have included, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Noel Gallagher, The Last Shadow Puppets and The Courteeners.

The lethal combination of high stakes adrenaline fuelled fans, three-person shoulder situations and half-full cups of mystery liquids resulted in a (very wet) bruised ridden night of concert antics. The entire crowd raved and screamed back every lyric verbatim to every song, jumping and thrashing around without a care in the world. Bumper cars and walking disasters in a ocean of sweat and booze - Wombats fans are the craziest of them all.

Our current modern glitch meant that hundreds of phones were constantly in the air capturing every second, every strum, every lick of the drum, every syllable expelled by Murph, all of it on permanent record to be reminisced - there's a certain beauty in being able to relive moments such as these...

Scouse rockers The Wombats hit the stage following a plethora of support acts; Stockport five-piece and blossoms tour vets Fuzzy Sun, female fronted BLOXX and long reigning indie stand-outs Sundara Karma.

Having previously seen all of the acts before, I was well versed in the ways of their performances, and boy, they didn't disappoint.

Fuzzy Sun seemingly shot onto the indie music scene overnight after supporting Blossoms on their 'Cool Like You' album tour, and who can blame fans for falling head over heels for them when they throw out catchy riffs, bouncy and indie fuelled songs - these guys are certainly ones to watch.

The band graced us with their immovable presence onstage and blessed our ears with their infectious psychedelic pop melodies, such as 'Eve' and 'Want Love'. Their romance injected style shone through their stage performance, and their melodic lyrics melted into the crowd and lifted everyone up - leaving unsuspecting Fuzzy Sun Virgins enchanted by their spell.

Up and coming band Bloxx, took the stage by storm and successfully riled the crowd up ready for the headline act. Renditions of their hit lyrics were reverberated by the crowd. Punchy guitar riffs and catchy melodies amalgamated to create an adrenaline fuelled atmosphere. You have to experience their live performance to know what a band looks like who are wholly dedicated and in love with music. It's rare to see a crowd so inspired and pumped up by a support act, but once lead singer and front woman Fee announced to the crowd that they were about to play grunge infused 'Coke', there was no stopping the excitement that ensued.
Oh, and by the way - girls do bite back.

Sundara Karma released their second album early this year, 'Ulfila's Alphabet', which catalysed a number of changes in their music world - perhaps most notably being front man Oscar Lulu's hair phases, going from long locks to an almost bowl cut. Sundara have been around for what to me seems like a lifetime, having first discovered the band when I was in my early days of 'indie revelation'. The band are set to play TRNSMT alongside The Wombats and Gunners Ville Concert Series in London early September.

SunnyK only get better as the years go on, their lyrics becoming more profound and revelationary and their riffs becoming punchier, louder and substantially more amazing. As the lyrics foretell, 'She Said' was met by a plethora of dancing teens, and the sung verse couldn't have fit the surroundings more perfectly - Going through the motion of Strangeways here we come and teenage love.

The Wombats know what they're doing when it comes to performing live. All it takes is a short pluck on a guitar string to get a crowd screaming at the unmistakably recognisable riffs that the band produce, sending electricity through the air and igniting the entire audience. Jumping into the fog created by a dozen contraband flares that coloured the rays beaming down from the sun.

Seeing these guys live is indescribable, an almost biblical 'you've gotta see it to believe it' situation. It's rare that a performance finds me at a loss for words, all I can really say is 'wow'. The show was made even better by an amazing crowd, strangers helping strangers get onto each others shoulders, picking one another up after they fall from the experience of a craze fuelled mosh-pit, there are honestly few experiences better than being a part of one crowd singing lyrics in sync and bouncing around each other in a world of excitement.

All in all it was a freaking amazing night, and I'd bet that everyone who was there would agree.

Music runs through my veins, and I only hope that my enthusiasm persists... watch this space.

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