COUNTERPOINT / CITADELS / ONLY THE RIGHTEOUS / TIRADE - The Star And Garter - 18.08.18

BY ANNE ESTELLA
PHOTOS CREDITS: SHANNON LANDERS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

The Star And Garter is a 217-year old pub/live music venue nestled in the bosom of Manchester Piccadilly that I’ve known about for as long as I’ve lived here, but have somehow never visited. Naturally, I realised that I had to put this right and as soon as I heard that a band I‘d seen once before called Only The Righteous would be playing there together with three other local bands, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to pay a long overdue visit to the Manchester landmark.

 

Opening up the evening were the four-piece hard rock outfit, TIRADE. The heavy sound and punk-spiked raw energy emanating from the stage was impressive. The young band confidently kicked off with their raucous 2016 track, ‘We’re Having Fun’, taken from their debut self-titled EP, before tearing into their brand new single, ‘No Time’. Not long into the set Josh Pearl’s guitar string broke but unperturbed, his bandmates had a nice little ad-lib jam while he replaced it.

 

It was about halfway through the set that TIRADE really warmed up and started to look and sound like they were having a blast. The audience sensed the band relax as they came into their own and people started moshing. Their final song, ‘Well Spent’, was written about being at Uni and was taken from the band’s upcoming new EP, due out for release later this year. Some of the band’s other new tracks were also given a test run, including ‘Burned Out’ and ‘To Be Honest’. TIRADE were a great find and it was inspiring to see a new generation of fresh, talented young musicians making their mark on the local underground scene.

 

Setlist:

We’re Having Fun

No Time

Punch?

Travel Agent For Guilt Trips

Burned Out

To Be Honest

Snakes And Social Ladders

Well Spent

 

Band Members:

Jake Tilley - Vocals/Bass
Josh Pearl - Guitar
Alex Young - Guitar
Stevo Somerset – Drums

 

Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/TIRADEbanduk/


PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

The second band to play were ONLY THE RIGHTEOUS, who I’d seen support Seething Akira at Satan’s Hollow. The Post Hardcore five-piece entered wearing their standard ‘uniform’ of plain black T-shirts and trousers, with the addition of frontman James Barnes’ trademark blue denim jacket. Barnes is no shrinking violet on stage and he had these opening words for us: “Star And Garter you’ve got your work cut out for you tonight! We were in Sheffield last night and they brought the fucking party!” Urging the small crowd to come forward, he let out an almighty roar as he launched into the first song.

 

Only The Righteous are one of the best bands I’ve come across within their genre. Animated guitar playing combined with sharp, powerful drumming immediately grab your attention, but it’s the blood-curdling shrieks and growls of the captivating singer that really make your ears prick up and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Barnes is like the Clark Kent of the music world… Unassuming and mild-mannered, as soon as his feet hit the stage he transforms, revealing his fearless inner-Emo alter ego, that’s literally screaming to get out!

 

Barnes again beckoned the audience to come closer, ensuring his performance had the maximum impact possible. It was almost as if he wanted to feed off people’s energy, a bit like a Vampire, only less messy. One of the songs, ‘Late Nights With Bukowski’, saw Barnes pay homage to his favourite poet and novelist. The band closed with their latest single ‘Regret’, as the musicians stood with their backs to the audience, turning around in unison as soon as the beat kicked in. The song ended to calls from the floor for “One more!” There was a cheeky glint in Barnes’ eyes as he returned to the front of the stage and enthusiastically gave the crowd what they wanted, offering up ‘Raise Your Glass’, one of the band’s many love songs, as an encore. I’m certain that what we’ve witnessed so far from Only The Righteous is just the tip of the iceberg and I look forward to seeing them smash through the barriers and grow to surpass even their own expectations.


Setlist:

Intro

Heads Or Tails

What We Could’ve Been

Her Last Goodbye

Interlad

(Untitled) Hardcore Song

Late Nights With Bukowski

Regret

Raise Your Glass

 

Band Members:

James Barnes - Vocals
Andy Dixon - Guitar
Charlie Green - Guitar
Jake Bennett - Bass
Mark Goodall – Drums

 

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/OTRBANDUK/


PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

Four-piece Metalcore merchants CITADELS were up next. This band has a similar sound to the previous act, but with a harder, more aggressive edge. A small but forceful circle pit broke out and the striking opening song, ‘Cut Your Ties’, drew a big cheer from the crowd. Guitarist Fred Thomas came out onto the floor in the midst of the audience whilst paying tribute to his wife, who’s expecting a baby in November and was watching from the back of the room (a safe distance away from the rowdy pit!). The band had brought some hardcore fans with them, one of whom was offered the mic by vocalist Phil Higgins and happily joined in. The fierce sound produced by the band was very well received and the last song, ‘Til Death Do Us Part’, sealed the deal.

 

Setlist:

Cut Your Ties

Army Of Fools

Imperfect

Tyrants

Messiah Complex

‘Til Death Do Us Part

 

Band Members:

Fred Thomas - Guitar/Vocals
Phil Higgins - Vocals
Martyn Robinson - Bass
Austin Fletcher - Drums

 

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/wearecitadels/

https://wearecitadels.bigcartel.com/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

Originally from Liverpool, heavy Alt-Rock trio COUNTERPOINT, now based in Manchester, were the last to play. They opened with ‘Lately’ from their demo record Borrow Your Past, Steal Your Future. The setlist included all the songs from their five-track debut EP, If Not Now, When?, which was released in February and produced by Daniel Jeffery and Jim Pinder at the legendary Treehouse Studios. Another circle pit soon erupted and the second guitar mishap of the night transpired when Ted O’Neil’s guitar strap came undone, but he heroically caught his Les Paul just before it fell.

The band, which was a four-piece until about six months ago, delivered solid, hard-hitting Rock flavoured with a late ‘90s Metal vibe and the songs, all written from personal experience, addressed negative themes with a sense of hope. It was a competent performance from a promising band and if the evening’s entertainment proves anything, it’s that Manchester’s alternative music scene isn’t just alive and well, it’s positively thriving.

 

Setlist:

Lately

Leave It All Behind

Honestly?...

Between You & Me

Downdowndown

One Sided Conversations

 

Band Members:

Dominic Lehane - Vocals
Martin ‘Ted’ O’Neil – Guitar

Ed Sutton - Drums

 

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/UKCounterpoint/

https://counterpointband.bandcamp.com/


PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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