Thursday, 13 June 2013

#120: Introducing...Velocets (Manc Tank #1 U&I Magazine)

Manchester is a city steeped in musical history; every post-war generation that could call the city home has begotten to us at least one band that has gone on to become a household name. From the electro-soaked melancholy of New Order to the up-tempo drug-fuelled rave culture of the Happy Mondays; the meat- free morosity of The Smiths to the cocksure arrogance of Oasis; right down, even now, to contemporary classics such as The Courteeners. And really, it's easy to see why. Manchester plays host to a burgeoning underground scene, in which a plethora of bands and genres all jockey for the attention of PRs and promoters. One such band are Stockport's Velocets.

Growing up amidst the Brutalist architecture and perpetual grey of a town once rated as one ofthe worst places to live in the UK, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the music and ethos that the band purport are that which will match their surroundings; a Joy Division-infused amalgam of self-deprecation and misanthrope. But you'd be thinking wrong. In fact the only thing that the band have in common with Manchester's Most Miserable is a loose label of them both falling in to post-punk territory.

The energy and the optimism of Velocets is something that's inherently Manchester. Tracks such as 'About the World' and 'Tell It to Your Kids' crackle with a youthful exuberance that's juxtaposed with surprising amount of maturity in the band's song-writing. However, it's not always peaches and cream; 'Naked' upholds an even further level of maturity but the inherent optimism takes a backseat in favour of a much greater sense of candidness that's “as close to emotion you’re going to get with Velocets”. The chorus is a particularly emotive affair, especially after the relatively understated verses, while the songs conclusion is as melodic as it tumultuous as guitar and bass weave in and out of each other at once, both delicate and ominous.

Post-punk is a genre that's thrown about far too loosely these days, however it seems to suit the overall aesthetic of Velocets. From the reverb-tinged vocals to the clean yet crunchy guitar parts, there's a slight sense of nostalgia emitted by the band while they paradoxically manage to keep their music fresh and exciting. Thankfully the band's energy also transfers to their live sets too (which will no doubt see the drummer taking his top off). Singer/bassist Adam Walsh, and guitarist Elliot Berriman feed off each others energy; like a younger BarĂ¢t and Doherty, it is a joy to watch and no wonder that BBC Introducing, amongst others, have already picked up on the buzz surrounding the band. Fresh-faced and with the world (or at least the city) firmly at their feet, Velocets look set to take off in a big way.

This article was originally written for the June issue of U&I magazine. To read in full, click here.