Whilst festivals are being cancelled around our ears, Manchester's After All Festival continued in a socially distanced format on Thursday night - a sold-out event at Manchester's Tribeca combining a range of different styles of music and urban poetry to an appreciative crowd that had been starved of live music for sixteen months.
After All Festival is the brainchild of Owen Meikle-Williams and has borne the brunt of cancellations galore as the pandemic moved into its second year. Unperturbed, this event was scaled down to a single venue and socially distanced format while maintaining a number of the planned artists on the bill for an enjoyable evening with a broad range of artists performing.
Opening the evening is Jay Page, who tells us that he's "not what you expected" using backing tracks instead of guitars. Despite the slightly surreal sight of the sun streaming through the windows behind him, Jay transports the growing crowd to the dancefloor with upbeat tracks like Pretty, Am I Here and Fuck You, delivering a high-energy set with vocals performed with a real sense of having lived every word of the songs until he picks up an acoustic guitar for a track called Patchwork Personality which showcases a very different type of song that talks about someone being made up of parts of others they'd met. Whilst not something we'd usually watch and enjoy, Jay's set was a great opening to the evening and got the audience's excitement up for what was to come.