Phew. We made it through day 1 - just about anyway. So still bleary-eyed it's really rather nice to be able to wander into Night + Day to catch Tim & Sam's Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam - especially on their third birthday.
Having been touring with a fairly permanent band set-up for a while has done Tim & Sam a world of good, getting them back to that place where everything is well honed and very together; it barely takes two bars before I'm smiling and getting that slight shiver down the spine. The electric guitars which sounded slightly out of place at ITC07 have really found their place, helping to build each song to a glorious crescendo, and, well, they just have that seemingly innate knack of making you very, very happy. After all, who can resist it when most of the band start drumming with only a glock for company?
It appears that a lot of the ITC crowd have got wind of another 'must see' elsewhere in the city, which is a damn shame as it means that Cate Le Bon is playing to a sparsely filled bar. For some reason her set feels a bit more direct than last time we saw her properly at Green Man, though this makes her Nico-esque tones come even more into focus. When she isn't having to put Mr Sweet Baboo in his place, Cate is really quite chatty, which makes for a lovely set. There a definite allusions to sounds of the wonderful Welsh Sain label, which we really like. Warm vintage keyboards, beautiful vocals and a lovely nature - ace.
Following on from what was apparently a great set earlier in the night, Gallops played like men possessed. Their drummer is actually an animal, no man should have that much power. Gallops have a similar sound to Battles, yet they are somehow a bit more intense at times. Catching three songs tonight confirms that they are one of the best new bands around at the moment.
WOAH NOW! Why has nobody made us aware that members of two of our favourite bands from Cardiff now have another band [nb - we mean Attack + Defend and Frederick Stanley Star]? As we arrive in the venue three members of the band are standing around the drum kit playing along, whilst the man sat at the kit is playing keyboards and singing along. This pretty much sums up what this band are about - nothing that you expect from a normal band. Islet are something truly remarkable - you can't take your eyes off the four of them as they switch drum kits/guitars/vocals, run around the crowd, jump up the stairs to make a drum beat... They're this year's Witch and the Robot purely due to the fact that they can terrify you, either by screeching when you least expect it or by darting towards you with bells and tambourines.
The issue I've generally had with MAY68 is that they are far far cooler than I will ever be, and they make music that is far far cooler than anything I listen too. Arriving about three quarters way through their set, what we saw was enough to throw all preconceptions out of the window.
MAY68 are really really good. They sound like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs before they wanted to sound like The Rapture, crossed with The Rapture. This is accessible pop music, in the best way. With cow bell. On a purely selfish note, wouldn't they work brilliantly on a bill with The Longcut...
Pull Yourself Together - An indiepop fanzine and club night formed in the summer of 2008. We're at Common in the Northern Quarter on the last Wednesday of the month, where you can also pick up our zine! We also put on gigs when we can afford it, and have DJd for such delightful nights as Underachievers Please Try Harder and Asparagus Next Left.
We have been declared 'club of the week' by CityLife.co.uk, as well as the site declaring two of our gigs 'gig of the week' in 2009. We've also had great reviews in The Revue, ManchesterMusic, Fuse Fm and CityLife!
get in touch at pullyourselftogethermanchesterATgmailDOTcom