With standing applause, up-and-comer rock, and enough cocktails to keep the best of us happy – Kanteena is a venue to keep an eye on…
So, we are back in Kanteena for another live show but now the time has come where they’re finally hosting bands on stage. I don’t know about anyone else but live shows has been one of the biggest things I’ve missed during lockdown.
Again, Kanteena has opened its doors to its enormous warehouse, one of the biggest indoor venues in Lancaster but this time, they’ve done away with the pantomime set vibes of their Whipcrack Comedy Night and decked out the hall with a bigger stage fit with a canopy.
Tonight, they’re hosting four bands from Fear Records, an indie record label based in Manchester, home to some of the best up-and-coming Mancunian scene bands.
Speaking to drummer Oliver, from SHADE, he predicts that the rising new sound coming out of Manchester is going to rival the 90s scene that brought Manchester back to the forefront of music. “I think most people in the industry knew it was just about to start right before lockdown hit which has kinda put it on pause but it’s definitely on its way. The sheer amount of quality bands coming out of the city right now is undeniable.”
It’s Paramore-style punk band, Rich Kid Problems, on first. On vocals is Ray who opens with a cover of ‘Rebel Still’ that beautifully shows off her riot grrrl voice and leaves the entire audience well-aware of the impact two guitars and a bass can have with a decent sound system.
Later, they hit hard with fan-favourite, ‘Front Garden’, from their EP, Plane Crash on a Sunday. The band’s energy went through the roof and the best moment was watching them all bouncing in-sync on stage. Next up came a public service announcement apologising to any Karens in the room before they launched into ‘Karen, Come Back I Miss The Kids’ – their only heckle was a well-timed, “I’m calling the manager!”
Second on the stage is ROLLA, a punk-influenced band from Manchester who take to the stage with storm. From the minute they blast into the opening notes of ‘What Kid’, you can tell this is a band made for the stage. Their energy is undeniable and this is exactly what lockdown has been missing.
Playing their debut single, ‘Thinking of Tomorrow’, the crowd is slapping tables, banging feet. Lead singer, James shouts into the cheers, “If you know the words, sing along. If not, f*ck you,” and they crash into yet another high-energy set, careening from trailing guitar chord to trailing guitar chord.
Next on is The France, more of a feel-good indie pop band, also from Manchester. Their first track of the night is ‘Indie Kate’, an absolute bop that is just made for live shows, the kind of song you’re already singing along to before you’ve finished hearing it for the first time. The drums, the guitars – it’s flawless stand-up-and-dance energy.
Playing ‘Forever Too Long’, the music video they dropped during lockdown, it’s impossible to ignore lead singer Liam’s vocals. He has a unique kind of voice which will undoubtedly become the band’s signature sound in the same way that Freddie Mercury, Barry Gibb, and Liam Gallagher made their bands unmistakably them.
At the staggering cheers, guitarist Joel takes the mic to say, “Hearing real life applause is surreal, we haven’t played a real crowd in so long. I don’t know about you but I’ve got a semi.” Then they go into their last song of the night, the upcoming single, ‘California’. Even in grey Lancaster, the upbeat and catchy chorus makes you think of sunshine – this is definitely one to go on the 2021 Summer Playlist.
Last up is SHADE, an alt-rock group who have been building up a strong reputation at live gigs in Manchester over the last couple of years and for good reason. Their stage presence is incredible – I don’t know if it was them or the fact everyone was at least three or four Carlings deep but the crowd in Kanteena was roaring.
They hold the stage for the longest, playing song after song. Lead singer Luke has that distinctive Mancunian grit in his voice that should grate but instead has a warehouse full of people dancing in their seats. And it’s hard to forget the rest of the band with a bass you can feel in your lungs, a lead guitarist whose solos are almost an ode to Guns N Roses, and a drummer who somehow has more energy than everyone in the house.
This is the kind of good old rock you’d expect out of Manchester with a new flair that is the new scene coming out of the city’s upcoming bands.
As the first indoor live gig in well over a year, Fear Records put on one hell of a night – I’d expect anyone interested in the upcoming North-West music scene to keep an eye on what Kanteena hosts in the coming months.