Sunday 19 March 2023

SKIES / Daisy Valentine - Manchester 33 Oldham Street - 18th March 2023

SKIES returned to Manchester for the first time in over a year for a sold out headline show at 33 Oldham Street, giving us a teasing first view of their forthcoming debut album as well as delighting the crowd with a set rammed full of old favourites. Support came from a solo slot from Daisy Valentine.

Daisy Valentine opens with an ambitious five-song solo set taken from her recent debut Tabula Rasa EP as well as a couple from a new record she says will be released soon. Playing keys, electronic drums, guitar as well as managing a bank of backing tracks and singing there's a lot going on for one person to control. I Know Why and Life Is Beachy go down very well with an audience that's made up of quite a few people there for her, including two friends to who she dedicates a song she wrote for their wedding.

SKIES recently announced their debut album would be released this year. Whilst they only play one song from it tonight, it means that many of the tracks they do play tonight may soon get retired from their set and this might be a last opportunity to hear some of them as the gig feels very much like a greatest hits show. SKIES don't do EP tracks or album tracks, every one feels like a huge single, the duo making way more noise and generating far more energy than you'd expect from a duo. 

The earlier songs - Dead, Hold On, Drone, Green, Pills and Afterwards.- are big soaring anthemic numbers. The more recent - Save Everyone, It's Not The End Of The World, Deconstruction and Exist - show they've developed their sound without losing the infectious nature of their art. The new song, Answer, very much condenses both elements into a three minute romp that whets the appetite for the album.

SKIES bring a real sense of joy with them. Many of the crowd were at The Slow Readers Club headline show across town the night before, SKIES having supported them previously, and the sense of euphoria in the front couple of rows tonight is similar. SKIES' boundless energy and love of performance is joyous and transmits itself to the crowd who are drawn forward. The connections they formed with their audience during lockdown and their daily streams mean there's a tight bond between them and their fans and now everyone is back into the room together, a SKIES gig is a celebration, a coming together and a euphoric release.

Daisy Valentine is on Facebook and Twitter.

SKIES' official website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter

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