Urban Theory headlined one of Manchester's newest venues Off The Square on Saturday night supported by TEEFF and Hurray For Tuesday, showcasing their new line up and a new set.
Hurray For Tuesday open up the evening and the five-piece have so much equipment it's almost a struggle for them to fit on stage, although most of that space is taken by Sean's huge keyboard set-up. They describe themselves as "garden pop and summer jangles" but their sound tonight is heavier than that, helped by the minimalist set-up of the venue and it goes down well with the growing crowd and their own friends down the front. Their two singles Static and Through The Rain sit in the middle of the set whilst Edinburgh and their final song Rain's Gonna Fall stand out. They make great use of Abby and Sean's shared lead vocals to keep things fresh and interesting.
TEEFF are next up and the Leeds duo keep things simple with a fast and furious approach that starts off at a hundred miles an hour and accelerates from there, the songs gathering pace as they go but without ever losing of sight of what they are. It's a difficult approach to maintain across a half hour set and keep the audience interested, but TEEFF's raw energy manages to do just that as Ryan drums and sings with a blinding whirlwind of arms and Alex's guitar provides the shading to a set of songs including recent single The Milkman.
Urban Theory start as they mean to go on - it feels like they've got a point to prove these days, a reinvigorated approach to their music and one that they want to impose on you. Full of confidence following their recent set at Gorilla with Jordan Allen, this is their night. Starting with The Unknown and early single Fishbowls there's a new found sense of purpose that transmits from the band to the crowd - that raw energy that characterised their early shows is still there in abundance, but it now feels targeted, channeled and focused. Alex's vocals sound stronger than ever, he's singing where he once used to be shouting and it adds strength and depth to the words coming from his mouth.
Old favourites Mandy and Weekend Offender go down a storm with the partisan crowd. Their new songs feel like the best thing they've done too - recent single Living The Dream But Discussing The Nightmare and Dirty Faces cases in point - and with new bassist Josh fully on board there's a sense of purpose about them now that will stand them in good stead as they try and knock down the walls of the industry from the outside and take their crowd from friends and family and friends of friends, who impressively fill the room, to a wider audience that they deserve.
Urban Theory are on Facebook and Twitter.
TEEFF are on Facebook and Twitter.
Hurray For Tuesday are on Facebook and Twitter.