Wednesday night saw the launch of a new music promotion company called After All at the Night And Day with four very different sets from M-40, INEGO, Ash Palmer and The Last Clouds.
“These are a series of synth classics reinvented” Matthew tells us. Tonight the two-piece The Last Clouds are stripped down to just an acoustic guitar for the six song set. His rearranged versions make these songs feel natural in this habitat though - the life-saving Manchester and new songs from their forthcoming EP Sleep, Snows and The Boy Who Drained The Sea all have a genuine warmth to them, talk of gentle hearts having courage and freezing when exposed to the cold. Intelligently crafted with an emotional depth to the lyrics and a rich lived-in feeling in the vocals, the set gets a deserved warm response from the crowd.
Another solo performer Ash Palmer is up next and the classic nature of his songwriting possesses many of the same traits yet his subject matter is more personal observations and stories around the lives of him and his friends - recent single The Only Mod In Manchester tells of a chance encounter in town, A Part Of My Tomorrow a friend who moved to London and came back and Streets Where We Survive a tale of a New Year’s party. He makes judicious use of loops to give the songs more power, but it’s his acoustic guitar that drives these songs along and his voice holds up despite a chest infection. He throws in a part cover of Dakota and finishes on The Irish Rover and whilst both are decent versions, the strength of his original material meant we’d like to have heard more of his music than others, a compliment rather than a complaint.
INEGO’s set is curtailed to just five songs by the overrunning poet between acts, but in that time they play four tracks from their second album that they’re in the process of writing and recording and 2016’s Exiled Love single. They trade in big anthemic songs whose grooves point them towards the indie dancefloor and with Toby’s strong emotive voice taking centre stage and sounding like he’s living out these songs they make a strong impression. They might not be the new kids on the block but the focus on new material makes this feel like starting over and they display the energy and enthusiasm of a band living and loving what they’re doing.
M-40 close out the night with a seven-song set that comes right from the heart. They're loud, right on the edge of distortion, but that just gives them even more energy. Driven along by the trusted combination of drums, bass and guitar this allows Lee to live out every word he's singing as if it's some form of healing process (especially the set highlight Get Meself Together, letting out demons and bringing in light, lost in the moment. He thumps his heart numerous times during the set and talks of respect and passion. There might not be a lot of people in the room but they aim to lift everyone of us up with their music - and as they reveal their next single (possibly called Back To You), deliver their debut single Falling and finish on Runaway, they do just that.
M-40 are on Facebook and Twitter.
INEGO are on Facebook and Twitter.
Ash Palmer is on Facebook.
The Last Clouds are on Facebook and Twitter.
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