Sunday 26 February 2023

The Covasettes / Bedroom High Club - Manchester Gorilla - 25th February 2023

The Covasettes played their biggest headline show on Saturday night at Gorilla in Manchester where they delighted a packed enthusiastic crowd with a series of old favourites, pointing the way to even bigger things in the future. Support came from Barnsley's Bedroom High Club.

Bedroom High Club were a late addition to the bill and their half hour set is received by a crowd that grows in size rapidly during the time they're on stage. Featuring tracks from their forthcoming EP heavily they leave a very positive impression of a band that might be five years or so into their journey, but who are still developing as they prepare for their first nationwide headline tour in the next couple of months. Courtesy, the EP's lead track, is dispatched of early in the set, but the new songs We Don't Talk and She Makes It in particular demonstrate the progression they've made. The older songs - Heather and To Feel Like This from their debut EP - feel like they've had to step up to stay in the set and the roar at the end of their half-hour suggests they've won over more fans that their small group of mates who led a Yorkshire chant half way through.

It's The Covasettes night though and right from the start you sense the joy emanating from the stage to the audience that's reflected back multifold. It's impossible, even stood around the fringes, not to be sucked in by the energy as the crowd threaten to drown Chris's vocals out right from the start of Wave through to the final send-off of Top Drawer, which Chris finishes with one last chorus solo after the rest of the band have departed. For a band without an album release to date, there's an impressive seventeen songs from start to finish and neither the standard or the energy drop an iota throughout.

Chris has been quoted in interviews about his love of first album Coldplay and there's a lot of that in both the songs and his stage presence but with more than enough of their own personality stamped across it for it to be no more than influences. The love of what they're doing is infectious, Jamie and Matt grin from ear to ear throughout as if this evening is living out their wildest dreams. Those smiles are throughout the audience as well. This is music to make you feel happy and to lose yourself from the shit that's going on in the world to - and we've rarely sensed such an euphoric feeling in this venue even from way more established bands. Chris jokes that The 1975 had played here this month, but didn't know that they wouldn't be the best band to play here this month. He then laughs and tells us it was the support. 

Even more remarkable given that The Covasettes haven't released an album is that this feels very much like a Greatest Hits set of a band more established. Plastic Gold, Modern Rapunzel, You & I, Spin, Like You and Big Dreamer in particular have a groove that courses through them and makes it impossible to resist losing yourself to it, whether you've been a fan for years or a more casual observer here to see what the fuss is about (as we were after catching a half hour taster at Neighbourhood in October). Even a new song Duvet Thief continues in the rich vein of what's gone before it, and by the time they come back with it released, it'll generate the same word-for-word singalong that everything around it does. 

For By My Side, Chris demands that everyone crouches down, which pretty much every one of the six hundred people who've packed out Gorilla do, before leaping back up once the chorus kicks in. In other circumstances it could be seen as a bit hackneyed, but here it's part of the show, the warm loving atmosphere that's often missing at cramped gigs. A look around the room at the end of the song, or any other for that matter, sees a sea of beaming faces. The Covasettes are very much a feel-good band and if they're in any way overwhelmed by the response they get, they better get used to it because this feels like a stepping stone to bigger things, a landmark gig and event on the way skywards.

The Covasettes are on Facebook and Twitter

Bedroom High Club are on Facebook and Twitter.

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