Freezer Jesus and Mother's Ruin are rumbling streams of consciousness set to pointed angular bass lines and tight claustrophobic drums that provide Natalie and Cesca with a canvas to paint upon. Forthcoming single Smile - with its dismissive conclusive put down "don't tell me to smile" and a wild ending that sees Natalie and Cesca dancing together as the song drops down to a danceable drumbeat - is a real highlight and seems sure to broaden their appeal and audience as does their own inimitable take on Madonna's Material Girl and their Jump The Met finale. The Red Stains are doing their growing up as a band in front of us, but there's a real sense that they mean business up on stage these days even with the adrenaline of alcohol running through their bones.
LIINES are across the road at Factory and leave nothing behind them on stage after their forty-five minute set that mixes songs from their debut Stop / Start as well as a bunch of new songs that both capture the spirit and energy of their debut but also a development of their sound into new areas. New single Keep On Going, with an extended intro live, thrives on the repetition of the chorus line as the song pummels its way into the hearts and minds of the LIINES fans and curious observers alike.
The set is high on energy, a frenetic pace that rarely lets up - whether it be the timeless Cold, Blackout and Never There or the new Go, Look For You, Wait and On And On - and whilst we're not as knackered as Zoe and Leila at the end, the set certainly has the heart beating faster than it was at the start. New bassist Anna looks and sounds effortlessly cool in comparison, but is the perfect replacement for the departed Tamsin. They finish with Sorry and Never There, still one of the finest songs to come out of Manchester in the last decade and the postscript Not Afraid, with more of that repetition that works so well. The audience love them, rightly so, even if they don't have the cool cache that many of the bands they clashed with trade on.
We then head down to The Deaf Institute for Billy Nomates, who's already won the audience over with a slightly awkward set-up of her laptop that prompts her to start her set five minutes early. Over the course of forty-five minutes her solo show ("I had a band, but I shot them" is a brilliant retort to those who think they know better about how she should perform) the pace is relentless as she targets her ire at mansplaining, Brexit, misogyny, the class divide, the image-driven hipster scene, soul-destroying minimum wage zero hour jobs and everything in between over beats that keep both her and the audience moving.
Her energy and sense of fun in performing is infectious and contagious - the crowd changes from being curious at the start to becoming involved in the set as it progresses, the response to each song growing as it does. When she jokes the sampled voices that sit between songs are there to give her a breather, we warm to her even more. The likes of Happy Misery, No, Modern Hart and Emergency Telephone capture perfectly the ennui, frustration and inequality of modern life, while there's a euphoric feel to the final Call In Sick and the unwillingness to make yourself ill in the cause of those who see you as a money-generating machine. Unique, unapologetic and with a message that demands to be heard, Billy Nomates is like a breath of fresh air.
There were many complaints about queues that it'd be remiss not to address. We witnessed at 9pm long queues outside the three main venues - Yes, Gorilla and Ritz - which don't seem to make sense given they made up most of the festival capacity. Earlier on, we'd queued twenty minutes to get into Yes to go to a basement that was only half full. The venue staff (who were great) told us this was because of a total venue capacity limit which wasn't in their control - but it felt wrong that at a music festival there was a ground floor bar full of people queuing for pizza and drinking when people were unable to get in to watch bands yet also wrong to begrudge any venue being open after eighteen months of restrictions and making money. We just moved on and found another band in another venue. Some of the bands have clearly grown in stature and appeal since the festival was booked as well which didn't help in some cases. Hopefully lessons will be learned for 2022 - with early bird tickets going on sale this week for the September 3 event next year.
Loose Articles are on Facebook and Twitter. They play Manchester Yes Basement (September 11), Manchester Yes (18), Manchester Castle (October 28), Liverpool Shipping Forecast (November 9) and Manchester Old Trafford Cricket Ground (with Foo Fighters June 25, 2022).
The Lounge Society are on Facebook and Twitter. They play Wakefield Long Division Festival (September 25), Liverpool Kazimier (October 1), Newcastle Head Of Steam (2), Middlesbrough Westgarth Social Club (3), Leeds Hyde Park Book Club (5), Sheffield Sidney & Matilda (6), Birmingham Hare & Hounds (7), Brighton Hope And Ruin (10), Bristol Crofter's Rights (12), Manchester Castle Hotel (13/14), Southampton Heartbreakers (19), London Brixton Windmill (20), Galway Roisin Dubh (November 16), Dublin Academy Green Room (17), Belfast McHugh's (18) and Limerick Kasbah Social Club (19).
bdrmm are on Facebook and Twitter. They play Blackpool Bootleg Social (October 21), Leeds Belgrave Music Hall (22), Nottingham Chameleon (23), Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's (24), Glasgow Hug And Pint (26), Birmingham Hare And Hounds (27), York Fulford Arms (28), Birkenhead Future Yard (30), Manchester Yes Basement (31), Southampton Heartbreakers (November 1), London Moth Club (2), Brighton Green Door Store (3), Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms (4), Margate Elsewhere (5) and Bristol The Crofters Rights (6).
They play London Grace (September 9), Manchester Bread Shed (11), Bristol Dot To Dot Festival (25) and Nottingham Dot To Dot Festival (26).
Billy Nomates' official site can be found here and she is on Facebook and Twitter. She plays Leeds Brudenell (October 5), Glasgow Mono (6), Newcastle Think Tank (7), London Moth Club (8), Reading Face Bar (9), Nottingham Bodega (12), Leicester Cookie Jar (13), Ramsgate Music Hall (15), London Moth Club (16), Manchester Yes (19), Brighton Green Door Store (20), Birmingham Castle And Falcon (22), York All Dayer (23), Oldham Library (24), Dublin Workman's Club (26) and Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach (27).