Gang – Manchester Castle Hotel (21st January 2016) - LIVE REVIEW
Gang – Manchester Castle Hotel (21st January 2016) - LIVE REVIEW

Gang – Manchester Castle Hotel (21st January 2016) – LIVE REVIEW

This Gang article was written by Lorna Gray, a GIGsoup contributor

After an AA-Side single release in December containing two pretty special tracks –  Animalia and Breath Before Death – as well as a couple of other dingy singles uploaded onto YouTube, Brighton trio Gang have done nothing but tease on social media with a small selection of absolutely filthy, gritty and downright boisterous sounds. Still, with only a small taste of what they have to offer, the band – who are friends with Brighton artist Theo Verney – managed to pull an impressive crowd into the traditional pub-turned gig venue that is Manchester’s Castle Hotel, perhaps those teaser tracks left a curiosity that would only be satisfied by seeing them live, there’s an obvious buzz about the humble sized room in anticipation for a night of grunge noise.

Manchester local band Fruit Bomb took up the support slot, and the four piece clumsily made their way through a set of melodic “dad-rock”, disregarding spatial awareness and bumping into each other on the modest stage. As well as awkwardly addressing the audience and announcing the title of each track before plunging into it, like a high school band in their infancy, playing the school talent show. The Mancunian band played with a lot more skill than a high school band at any rate, as their fuzzy yet sweet sound made up of catchy, repetitive guitar hooks and chant-like vocals seemed to impress the crowd. Perhaps the clumsiness was due to the fact the band hadn’t performed in two months, another piece of information announced as a sort of disclaimer to their nonchalant audience. Not that their awkward stage presence took anything away from their obvious talent, if anything, it added to their charm.

Gang is the perfect name for such a band – fun, boisterous, and mildly threatening. The trio took to the stage and ripped through their heavy and gritty songs with such distinction, that the small crowd were able to recognise some singles from social media sharing, as members were nodding along and mouthing the words. Despite a few technical hitches with the drum kit, which was reluctant to stay upright and demanded the aid of a kind gig go-er quite frequently, Gang played expertly and their sound impressively filled the back room of the Castle Pub.

Unfortunately, more technical issues were due, to keep the band on their toes as mid-song, Eric Tormey’s guitar blows out an amp, and leaves bassist Joe and drummer Jimi, awkwardly playing to no accompaniment. Tormey gestures that the band carry on as he unplugs and plugs various wires to try and find the source of what I can imagine is a band’s absolute worst nightmare while performing, but after what felt like several minutes of bass lines and drum beats alone, the trio decided to stop in an attempt to focus their energy on fixing the problem. The audience miraculously stayed patient during this time, one member even suggested they “just start their set again” and every one cheered in agreement. After even more fumbling around from band members, audience members and sound technicians to no avail, Joe jokingly played Chopin’s Funeral March on his bass, at least these guys have a sense of humour.

Finally things get up and running again, and the Brighton trio are so grateful for the problem to be fixed, that they play with even more enthusiasm than before, raucously tearing through their last handful of tracks, which didn’t fail to keep their crowd happy. Gang seemed to effortlessly impress their audience, with their garage style sounds and fun senses of humour. For a band embarking on their first headline tour, Gang could show a lot of bands up in their skill and not-so-professionalism, you can tell that this band are just a few dudes that enjoy making and playing music.

Gang – Manchester Castle Hotel (21st January 2016) - LIVE REVIEW