Sunday 2 June 2024

Dantzic / Sugartung - Manchester Castle Hotel - 30th May 2024

Dantzic and Sugartung, two of Manchester’s newest and most incendiary bands join forces for a sold out show at The Castle Hotel on Oldham Street.

The Castle Hotel has long since championed new and emerging artists and tonight is no exception as a packed crowd assemble in the intimate back room of this legendary venue. Sugartung are a four piece but not in the traditional sense with their line-up boasting no fewer than three guitarists and no bass! They look like they were born to be up on that stage and their 35 minute set is packed with post punk nuggets. Front man Dan works the crowd and commands the stage. There’s a sense of The Smiths about them too on songs like Northern Town. By the end of their set a mosh pit has formed with band and audience becoming one. Sugartung are an exciting prospect and we look forward to hearing more from them. 

Both Sugartung and Dantzic have a confidence and a presence but there’s nothing cocky or arrogant about them and they are perfect bed fellows. Both are still at the stage of peppering their sets with covers (and making them their own) - especially Dantzic’s stunning interpretation of New Order’s Procession. Sugartung interpret Squeeze’s Up The Junction towards the end of their set. There are other comparisons too; both bands boast can’t-take-your-eyes-off-them front men. Singer Shan looks, sounds and acts like the real deal and is a huge part of Dantzic’s charm - although it must be noted that he is surrounded by a band of highly skilled musicians who conjure up incredible sounds on their new and vintage equipment, which just about fits on The Castle stage.

Some songs see their drummer swap his kit for vintage drum machines. Taste for example has a real New Order flavour and that’s no bad thing. Taste for me is a real set highlight. There’s a maturity to Dantzic that defies their age, and this comes across on their emotive well-crafted songs like Hit The Floor.

The crowd reaction to both sets speaks volumes with both bands destined for bigger stages in their burgeoning careers.


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