Airship // The Deaf Institute // Manchester
28 October 2011
By James Murray
As always, Manchester is producing its fair share of new music – Airship being one of the city’s most recent breakthrough bands. It’s safe to say that generally hometown gigs are a highlight of most bands tour schedules; and it was clear from the offset that Airship cherish the connection they have with their beloved city – lead singer Elliot Williams introducing the set with a to-the-point “we’re home, and it feels good”.
Airship opened with the anthemic ‘Kids’, perhaps a more obvious finale, but a brilliantly fast-paced rendition nonetheless. Under The Deaf Institutes obligatory ‘mood lighting’, Airship powered through a set which predictably but satisfactorily showcased debut album ‘Stuck In This Ocean’.
Connecting with a crowd is important; but too often bands and artists try too hard, disrupting any fluidity and energy levels as a result. Airship did the extreme opposite, keeping small talk to a minimum. Standout tracks included second single ‘Algebra’, ‘Test’ and the remarkable vocals throughout ‘Invertebrate’.
The special guests of the evening included Golden Glow, who released their debut LP ‘Tender Is This Night’ this summer. Lead single ‘You Don’t Adore Me’ was the stand-out track of the set; the vocal slur of Pierre Hall best explained as a hybrid of Alex Turner and Robert Smith.
Tipped for success by BBC Introducing Manchester, it was hard not to expect something memorable from The Cold One Hundred. When informed that a band has two lead guitars and a talented lead vocalist – a somewhat vintage, essentially typical indie rock ensemble isn’t what you’d call the pinnacle of diversity. What The Cold One Hundred displayed was solid, but safe. Clearly influenced by The Smiths and bands akin, unfortunately in the 21st century a band relying solely on nostalgic value doesn’t quite cut it.