Sunday 29 June 2014

The Reveurs / My Igloo / Sophia Ben Yousef - Manchester Night And Day - 26th June 2014

Legendary Mancunian label Ugly Man, who released records by luminaries such as The Man From Del Monte and early I Am Kloot singles, are making a comeback, starting with a series of live gigs under the monicker Uglyman Reborn.  We caught The Reveurs, our favourite new band My Igloo and Sophia Ben Yousef at the Night And Day in Manchester.

Sophia Ben Yousef is a singer-songwriter based in Liverpool and this is a rare outing to Manchester for her.  For now, it's just her and a keyboard, but you can see how her songs could work with a band. You're immediately drawn to her voice and its fabulous range, demonstrated on both the four songs of her own that she plays and on Beyonce's Crazy In Love and a Drake cover.

She's still clearly at the early stages of her career, noticeably nervous and still learning her craft and developing a stage presence.  Her own material suggests though that she'll soon be able to drop those covers, particularly the latest song she's released to Soundcloud and set-closer, All I Need, which shuts up most of the chatting and promises great things ahead for her.

The Night And Day isn't an ideal venue for the fragile nature of her songs, partly due to the next band's fans having a shouting match six feet from the stage, but even she impresses enough to make us want to have another listen.
We miss the next band, but get back in time for My Igloo.  This is only their third ever gig and we've already swooned at the diversity, groove and rhythm of their material when we saw them at Retro earlier in the month.

We're delighted to discover that it wasn't just a one-off.  If anything, they're even more fluid and loose than they were last time, but rather than being a mess, it works magnificently.  There's ska, folk, reggae and soul in the first song alone.  Mixing the vocalists up with the others providing harmonies, as they do throughout the set, just adds to the versatility of the band as they act as another instrument to back up the guitar, bass, keys and drums.  Highlights are opening Dinner Hour and Doo Be Dum (Good Time Girl).
Headlining the night are The Reveurs, who belie their status as a band that formed at the back end of last year with a tight set of potential future indie-disco classics.  Right from the start, they're in our faces, loud guitars and frantic drumming without losing sight of the need for melody in their songs. And in frontman Gary Nelson, they have a vocalist who's not afraid to let go and extend his vocal cords to their very limits.

The three tracks off their debut EP, which is available as a free download, Control, Escapology and Shades Of Grey encapsulate their sound perfectly - short, sharp bursts that grab you by the ears and make you listen.  They don't seem to make any pretence to be anything more than they are, and at this stage they're still forming an identity, but this isn't a bad thing as too many bands try to be something different and unique before they've settled as a band and fail.

The room fills up as they come on which suggests they're building themselves a decent audience already and people are already singing along with the EP tracks.  Lead track, Control, with its spiralling repetitive guitar riff, and set-closer We Could Go Dancing, which Gary mentions is about escaping McDonalds, are already fine markers for their future, belying the callow nature of the band.  The future looks bright for them if they keep developing at this pace.

Sophia Ben Yousef is on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

My Igloo are on FacebookSoundcloud and Twitter

The Reveurs' official website can be found here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.  Their debut EP can be downloaded free from their Soundcloud site.

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  1. Noise Nuisance coming from Night & Day Cafe in Manchester! It's what is heard in the complainants HOME... This can't be acceptable surely? This is what we can hear in our flat at 21:26PM on Thursday 26th June 2014.

  2. We respectfully suggest not renting a flat next to an established music venue.