Manchester, as far as cities go, has always been in a state of flux. From the boom of the industrial revolution, to its post-war decline, the slum clearances that pushed Mancunians out to the city’s periphery while expanding its boundaries, to the rejuvenation of the 1990s onwards following the IRA bombing.
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
It’s interesting to see just how important to their fans Los Campesinos! have become in recent years. While much of their early contemporaries have either faded into obscurity or gone to top charts and headline festivals, LC! have entrenched themselves in the hearts and minds of their fans old and new, while flying almost under the radar of everyone else.
With 2019’s Hello Exile cementing Philadelphia four-piece The Menzingers as the kings of melodic punk, it seems that tonight’s show has been a long time coming. Following the band’s triumphant headline-of-sorts at last year’s Slam Dunk Festival, this writer in particular has been clamouring for the band to make a return.
As a music writer, you soon realise that there are bands you’ll come across in the early stages of their career that wholly resonate with you, whose music speaks to you in such a way that you find it entirely impossible not to write about them.
With their first two albums, Pennsylvania four piece The Menzingers established themselves as a tour-de-force of scrappy youthfulness and raw emotion. It was their second three however, On the Impossible Past, Rented World and 2017’s After the Party that asserted the band as major players on the melodic punk scene.
Though clearly showing my age here, there was a time (and not too long ago) when festivals still felt alternative (though rarely subversive), when arriving on site felt somewhat like a homecoming and when subcultures mixed alongside the heady aroma of cheap weed, cheaper cider and a distinct lack of personal hygiene. Now it seems, at least for those more corporate events, that homogenisation is the key to black bank balances, and that playing it safe with rehashed line-ups is much preferable to taking risks on anything exciting.
Having enjoyed a 2018 that saw them release their acclaimed Less Is Better EP, undertake a mammoth tour of the UK and Europe in support of said record, all while still finding the time to be pissed off at just about everything (and justifiably so) going on in the world, it’s understandable that London’s False Heads have started 2019 fairly innocuously.