My psychic skills told me that the majjority of the 150 or so crowd were thinking "are Toni & Guy having a January sale?" As The Cooper Temple Clause lookalikes The Honeymoon Machine strolled on to the stage and produced keyboard influenced indie that is a mixture between the aformentioned band and The Libertines. However, the audience judged them on their music rather than their looks and gave The Barfly a far better reception.
Wolverhampton songstress Carina Round graced Manchester tonight for part of her current UK tour to promote new self-funded album "The Disconnected." The gathered audience was thanked for digging to find this artists work, and for nicely filling the venue.
Barfly was an apt name for the opening band tonight as 505 of the growing crowd lingered with an arm on the bar like Les Battersby or stayed close to it, as the sprightly Suede meets Supergrass style indie rockers swept through a pleasing set. The geology influenced track 'Searching For The Sun' managed to woo the audience into a bit of toe tapping. However, pleas from the front man that the area around the stage was " not toxic" went unheeded.
My psychic skills told me that the majority of the 150 or so crowd were thinking "are Toni & Guy having a January sale?" As The Cooper Temple Clause lookalikes The Honeymoon Machine strolled on to the stage and produced keyboard influenced indie that is a mixture between the aformentioned band and The Libertines. However, the audience judged them on their music rather than their looks and gave The Barfly a far better reception.
A modest Carina ventured out onto the stage coyly stating "There's so many of you," which gained an appreciative smile from the crowd gathered in the intimate venue. Dressed in a conservative but classy black suit, she appeared as modest as her opening songs "Shoot" and "Motel 74" which both struck the mood with the audience.
New single "Lacuna" struck a welcome response, with most of the relaxed audience (appearing to expect a sitting down gig) joining in enigmatically.
Carina flitted from acoustic to electric guitar and back again as though indecisive like a child in a sweet shop, and equally familiar "Into My Blood" showed just what she can do on vocals. Her unpredictable style is one part soft mellow vocals, lulling you into a sense of security, and another part ear piercing screams and tuneful expressions of anger, as though swapping the singer on stage. Her musicians (double bassist, guitarist, and drummer) all just carry on as though this is a normal occurrence and are not deterred.
"Elegy" and "Let It Fall" were charismatic performances, indicating the night was coming to a close, with Carina swishing off stage confidently as though she herself owned it, to positive applause and cheers from the crowd, who continued the appreciation, whilst wishing for more.
Five minutes had not passed before we got our wish, as the band headed back for one more song. "Monument" proved to be an epic performance, with plenty of the screams, riffs and not a part of the stage left untouched by the singer, whose unpredictable dancing did not leave a part of the stage untouched, with Carina only returning to the microphone when it was her turn to sing, between the instrumental parts, which gave the musicians a chance to shine. A mesmerising night and a singer you should certainly be hearing more of in the future.
David Adair & Katherine Tomlinson