Every August bank holiday there's two days of live music curated by local radio station Trafford Sound in the intimate surroundings of Altrincham's Goose Green, a collection of bars, restaurants and local businesses nestled off the town's main thoroughfare. In baking sunshine we caught up with (relatively) local acts Delights, Carl North And The Lonely Hearts, The Zangwills and Londoners Luna Bay.
The Pride parade and a United home game mean we're delayed en route so we only catch the last three songs of Delights' set, but we're left impressed by a band that deal in sunny melodies and big choruses that's perfect for a day like today with Adam's strong confident vocals right bang in the middle of it and their performance a lot more polished than some of their light-hearted video and imagery might have led you to believe as a newcomer to the band. Recent single Sometimes, Lately grabs you immediately and doesn't let go whilst their debut single Bloom feels like it's grown and developed with the band.
London's Luna Bay are up next and are desperate to impress a Northern crowd. They have the age old issue of a band playing outside their local area - their next London show is at the eight hundred capacity Scala, their next Manchester show in the tiny basement of Jimmy's. The crowd warm to them as the set progresses, particularly once they get past the first few awkward song interchanges when they have technical problems. In their recent singles Hometown and follow-up You've Got It All they've got tailor-made radio-friendly songs that explain why they're packing out venues closer to home. Little Amsterdam is the stand-out track of a warmly-received set.
We've somehow managed to avoid Carl North And The Lonely Hearts over the past three and a half years as they've built a following around town. We like their dress sense, four of them in all black on a boiling hot day looking somewhat out of place, but it's their songs that bring the crowd closer to them. A rocky rhythm and blues feel runs through their set, most impressive when Carl and Anna share vocals on the likes of Muddy Waters. Carl tells us it's their first gig since May, but there's very few signs of rustiness as they run through Hard Times and Thorn In My Side, the latter taking things down a little without dampening the feel-good element to their set.
Last up are The Zangwills, thrown in a little at the deep end by the final band cancelling and being given a much longer set which they need to add in covers to fill the time out. These include takes on The Cure's Just Like Heaven, which Jake jokes they wrote for any latecomers, and Arctic Monkeys' Fake Tales Of San Francisco, but like any band starting out it's their own material on which they'll be ultimately judged. The Zangwills have plenty of solid tunes of their own like Feel Good Sweetheart, Inside My Head and House Of Sobriety, which might not quite reach the heights of those covers, but which will help them to build on the momentum they've already got behind them. A new song called Painting By Numbers stands out in particular, and whilst Patio Paradise might not be as funky as they claim, it's still got a hook that sticks in the head.
Delights are on Facebook and Twitter.
Luna Bay are on Facebook and Twitter.
Carl North And The Lonely Hearts are on Facebook and Twitter.
The Zangwills are on Facebook and Twitter.