Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Garbage - Manchester Academy

Last week, Garbage played in Manchester, the penultimate date on their short "20 Years Queer" tour, a tour to mark the anniversary of their debut self-titled album. Unsurprisingly, the gig sold out and the Academy was packed, anticipation and excitement buzzing in the air as we all waited for the band to take the stage.

A white curtain concealed the stage as a short video, simultaneously celebrating the past 20 years and transporting the crowd back to 1995, while "Alien Sex Fiend" played. As the video ended, the instantly recognisable silhouettes of Garbage cast themselves on the curtain as they launched into "Subhuman" (my personal favourite B-side), a perfect song to start their set with.

The drapes finally fell, as the band went straight into "Supervixen", the stage engulfed in a pink hue, reminiscent of the album cover.

Throughout the night, it was obvious why Shirley Manson is considered an iconic frontwoman by so many. Her hair dyed pink, to match the night's theme, and with her matching feather boa, she had the crowd mesmerised as she stalked and circled the stage.

20 years later, these songs still sound just as fresh as they did back then. Even the lesser known B-sides, seamlessly mixed in the album tracks, had the crowd dancing and singing/shouting the words along with Shirley. As well as "Subhuman", "Girl Don't Come" and "Butterfly Collector" were definite highlights of the night.

"Stupid Girl" had new life breathed into if with the unexpected, but welcome, addition of synths, giving it an almost industrial feel.

"Vow" brought the 22 song set to a close, its anthemic chorus bursting with even more of a "fuck you" attitude than ever before.

This was certainly a special night for Garbage fans, seeing the band in such a small venue and hearing some songs that will, most likely, not be played live again after this tour. The relative intimacy of the venue also allowed for some more personal moments with Shirley addressing the crowd, sharing stories between songs.

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