Cold and wintery, the standard for Manchester in October. But also absolutely perfect for the Scandiavians that were here in town.
I knew tonight would be an evening to remember, I mean what else would come from a band whose only rider requests were white lilies, incense sticks and weed.
First up tonight was originally supposed to have been Obnoxious Youth and after missing the memo they’d left the tour I spent the whole of the past week getting needlessly acquainted with their work. It wasn’t to be, instead opening tonight’s proceedings would be acoustic soloist Daniel Bay, a friend of the headline band and whilst he meandered through well oiled acoustic offerings with a supremely eighties vocal not to departed from Bauhaus’ own Peter Murphy, you can’t help but shake the feeling that he’d be better suited fronting a band rather that trying to be an entire band on his own.
His short but sweet set was over and it was time for light refreshments in the form of overly expensive beer. We’re in the North for Christ’s sake, it’s supposed to be cheap!
Beer drank, changeover done and it’s time for Helsinki’s finest apocalyptic doomsters Beastmilk, who from the off commandeer your attention. It’s instantly obvious that a good proportion of the crowd are here for these guys. Their enigmatic frontman Kvohst commands the crowd with ease. Floating around like a magician his movements are ethereal and elegant and paired with his Killing Joke/Depeche Mode like vocal it really is plain to see why these guys are growing as fast as they are.
Drawing largely from their début album Climax the band flow through cuts like You Are Now Under Our Control and Surf The Apocalypse, whilst Kvohst is the centre of the band the rest of the guys and gal power through the set like seasoned pros. Some has-been from a band called Kiss recently declared that rock is dead but with bands like Beastmilk delivering this quality of music to the masses, it’s crystal clear that rock can never die. I could quite happily watch these guys all night and when they deliver a set that most headline bands would be proud of it makes their stage departure even more bitter-sweet. But away they float into the night. Top class stuff.
A slightly longer changeover this time as In Solitude take to the stage, shaking off the shy and quiet nature they had when I spoke to them only an hour before, the band power into Death Knows Where and don’t look back. Drawing largely from their latest offering Sister the band claim the stage like genuine pros. It’s easy to forget just how young these lads from Uppsala really are.
Storming through Lavender and A Buried Sun the band march on through, vocalist Pelle Ahman takes centre stage, peering through a haze of hair and smoke, the waves of burning incense make this gig feel more homely but also a lot more sinister. As the set comes to its smoky and powerful conclusion in He Comes. Pelle flies about the stage destroying the white lilies that had been on display for the entire performance. Flowers being torn apart and soulful musical delivery mark the end of the polished In Solitude set.
It was my first time seeing both Beastmilk and In Solitude tonight, and I ask myself, was it worth the wait? You’re goddamn right it was!