All images courtesy of Evelyn Sweeney
Tucked away in the Manchester’s Northern Quarter, The Castle Hotel was host to La Mode, BLOOMS and Sløtface for Beta, a music production company who aim to test the best new bands from around the world, live in intimate venues in Manchester.
Manchester’s own local band, La Mode, kicked things off with a lively start. Their track Wicked Mind from their recent EP, The La Mode was a clear high point of their set. With their lead singer, Millie’s raw vocals mixed with the band’s mellow and haunting sound, the four piece indie rock were a good warm up band for the night.
Next up were BLOOMS, another local band. They describe themselves as a ‘Manchester trio making dreamy gazey noise’, and it’s easy to see where this statement comes from. With a loud start that transferred to the similarly relaxed vibe that La Mode conveyed, they seemed comfortable with the venue and their crowd which was clear in their performance. Although they initially came off as hesitant, they still kept a good relationship with their audience, often making funny remarks and easily overcoming any small mistakes. Their first single, Head is Swimming was a clear highlight of the night. Their later single Porcelain also provided anticipation for their upcoming EP. With the details of their very first EP on the way, they’re definitely a band that should be watched.
Headlining the night were the Norwegian ‘punk’ rock band, Sløtface. Despite being a long way from their hometown Stavanger, the crowd were clearly excited for their appearance, with many wearing their merchandise, even from when the band were known as Slutface. And it’s clear the band appreciated the fans the same way, even recognising a few faces from their last Manchester visit. Starting with their energetic feminist track, Take Me Dancing, the band provided a solid start. Throughout their set they were jumping off the stage into the crowd, knocking over equipment and giving an outstanding performance. And once Empire Records was being performed, the audience were dancing and jumping around, even causing the floor to move and were singing their hearts out. Their first single, Angst was a great crowd pleaser for their long time fans. The relationship with the band and their fans was clear, even as they spoke in between songs, joking about how they had taught 5-year-olds to headbang to their song Sponge State at a children’s festival. And once they had ended their set with Shave My Head, the crowd was left feeling immensely satisfied.
Sløtface have a long way to go in terms of deciding exactly what feminist statements they want to make and how they want to make them, sometimes losing their Riot Grrrl roots, especially when considering their recent name change from Slutface. Surely if you’re aiming to be provocative, then people being offended is exactly what you want? Whatever their statements, Sløtface’s draw tonight demonstrates that they certainly have the ear of an ever growing audience. And it’s certainly not bad for a free gig.
You can check out our full album of images courtesy of Evelyn Sweeney here.