Declan McKenna, live from Manchester Academy, 6/04
Following his soaring debut “What do you think about the car?” I couldn’t wait to see Declan McKenna live. Declan’s album was up there with my top 3 favourites of 2017 along with Paramore’s “After Laughter” and “Visions of a Life” by Wolf Alice; to see the talent of the 19 year old quirky kid light up the stage, I wasn’t left disappointed. He came off so approachable and just like your average teenager and I think that’s what I loved most about him- bouncing around the stage with glitter down his face, having the time of his life. He opened with an electrifying rendition of “Make me your Queen”, the lyrics relatable enough to vividly recall your last breakup in high definition.
My favourite number was “Listen to your friends”, hearing everyone chant the political monologue, it was the first time in the evening I felt the room unite and it was a really great feeling. Screaming “GOD BLESS THE WEATHER MAN” with my best friend was a highlight for me, having the time of our lives. It was closely followed by the madness of “Isombard” then of course the iconic “Brazil”, his self released title of 2014 in protest of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, still producing a wild atmosphere by his audience.
What I will say is that a gig is supposed to be a safe place yet the atmosphere was so weird and tense. There was so much crushing even when the acts weren’t even on the stage to the point where I actually didn’t stop to enjoy Superfood because I couldn’t concentrate on the music at all. Declan had to stop “Basic” in its tracks because of a fight that had broken out amongst the gabble. You could see in his face how disappointed he was as it was just not what he stood for as a person or creative at all. It’s so good to see an artist that cares just as much for his audience as he does about getting the job done.
Don’t let this be a reflection of the night though, as genuinely the music performed was spectacular. It left me so excited for the new music Declan has to offer, teasing with a brand new track “Be an Astronaut” experimenting with different elements contrasting to his previous stuff, which should be real interesting to receive. Everyone loved it. And as for support from Whenyoung, I’d never heard these guys music before, an outlandish Irish indie trio in boiler suits? I was so down for what they had to offer (a particular favourite of mine being “Pretty Pure”). They have established themselves as a real force to be reckoned within the indie music community, having supported the likes of Dream Wife, The Vaccines and of course our brilliant Declan McKenna. They were so charming and approachable to chat to at the end of the show, hovering around the merch stand to greet their grinning fans. They were engaged and funny, making a solid effort in reaching out to people and making conversation. And as always I was very happy to see everyone’s favourite Brummie boys, Superfood, getting groovy to their “Bambino” tunes. It’s always so good to see a band completely enthused by their job and the music their making, bringing huge personalities to the stage, beaming while rocking out. They are always true Showmen, yet modest as anything. A real pleasure to see them every time.https://peaceandindiependence.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/img_0610.mov
“Be an Astronaut”
The Peace and Indiependence team with Whenyoung.