Fresh off the back from supporting indie four piece Sundara Karma, on their tour, Blaenavon star in their own headline tour, performing at to a sold out audience at Manchester’s Deaf Institute last Friday night (31st March).
With the release of the trio’s debut album That’s Your Lot set to arrive on the 7th April, the gig posed as a perfect event to encourage the anticipation of the album’s arrival even further.
Opening their set with the thumping drums of Hell Is My Head, the band create a sullen atmosphere before storming straight into the verse. Lead singer, Ben Gregory is dressed in a beautifully gothic suit, patterned tie and black eye make-up as he vigorously swishes his long brown locks whilst playing guitar- fully submerged within the track. A bunch of yellow daffodils are fixed to microphone stand and create a beautiful juxtaposition to the morose pop music.
The trio, also consisting of bassist Frank Wright and drummer Harris McMillan, are extremely tight and manage to project a huge sound that even a four piece would struggle to create.
Lets Pray engulfs the audience early on in the set, along with the band’s most popular hit, My Bark Is Your Bite-, which appears strangely placed within the set considering its popularity. However, the trio demonstrate its worth and then proceed to indulge in some newer and unknown tracks.
The recently released Alice Come Home will soon become one of Blaenavon’s best assets. The six minute long track takes the audience on a journey. Brimming with conflicting emotion that is portrayed through the track, exciting riffs send the crowd pogo-ing, before the song bows out with one minute of hauntingly beautiful vocals and tranquil synth.
It becomes something truly special to see the tracks transform and come to life on stage- even more so than they do on record. The buoyant audience mirror the constant energy radiated from the trio before embarking on the final stint of their show.
Of course, popular single from the band, Orthodox Man plays, before bowing out on a high with the notorious Prague’99. Gregory throws himself off the stage to crowd surf during the explosive finale, beaming gratefully at the reception that the Manchester audience had reciprocated to their headline show.