Sunday 18 September 2022

Dirty Laces - Manchester Academy 3 - 17th September 2022

Dirty Laces celebrated the release of their new single Midnight Mile on Saturday night at Manchester Academy 3. An hour plus set of old favourites and new material confirmed their transformation from an archetypal Manchester lads band to a much more powerful and compelling sound.

“This isn’t one of ours, I wish it was” Charlie tells an adoring crowd as they embark on a cover of The Stooges’ Search And Destroy as the penultimate song of the set and it’s a statement that underpins where Dirty Laces are in 2022. They’ve evolved musically and more pointedly in Charlie’s vocal style from a band that fitted the identikit Manchester template that’s still prevalent into a multi-headed beast of a band.  The likes of Set In Stone and Lose Control have been consigned to the past as they’ve broadened their horizons, a bold move considering audiences always hark back to a band’s early singles as a reference point but there’s little if any dissent here.

Their single You, all ten plus minutes of it live at the end of a rapturously received set, was an indicator followed up by this year’s L’Esprit Du Temps EP and the Midnight Smile single that came out on Friday. Live, their sound is even more potent and powerful when they let loose.  Whereas a few years ago this might have overwhelmed Charlie’s vocals, tonight they fit perfectly alongside the full-on dual guitar approach that lies at the centre of Dirty Laces’ sound.

Whilst they’re at their best when they break free from the constraints of a three minute song, the EP’s lead track Exile proves they can still pull off the short sharp hit and run punch to the gut, particularly when coupled with lighting that makes us feel like we’re in a much bigger room.

There’s a real connection between band and audience that’s been built up over the years and which has been rekindled post the enforced COVID break that knocked many artists’ trajectories off track. There’s a couple of homemade banners held aloft that make the band laugh, lads get on shoulders for the set-closing You and you sense a real mutual appreciation between those on and off stage. It’s warming to see a band evolve in the way Dirty Laces have and retain an audience as reward for their bravery in going out of their comfort zone.

Dirty Laces' website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.


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