Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Bis + Big Zero + ILL - The Deaf Institute, Manchester

Less than six months in, and 2016 is already a great year in terms of going to gigs, not least because I have now seen Bis twice (and trust me, I'm ready to make it a third time if they come back!).
Tonight's opening band was ILL, who I've been a fan of since seeing them  open for Jack Off Jill last year. While I love their loud and chaotic post-punk sound, they're not for everyone - thankfully though, most people in the crowd tonight seemed to like them. Their political lyrics burst with energy against the noisy, at times jarring, backdrop they create. My personal highlights were Secret Life ("true story", as keyboardist/vocalist Harri Shanaham informed us) and Ill Song, a song takes a look at the government's destruction of the NHS with their distinctive politics-meets-dark-humour lyrical style.
Next up is Big Zero, who are kind of like what might happen if Weezer and Devo had sex while watching Back to the Future, and gave birth to a band baby. A couple of their songs blended together a bit, but overall their music is catchy and fun (they're at their best when they don't hold back on the synths), and the band certainly don't lack any energy when it comes to performing.

While I admire their dedication to the image they've created for themselves, I can't help but feel like it seemed a bit forced at times - the constant stating of "we are zero" after each song, for example (we get it, you like Devo!). Definitely worth checking out though, and I'm interested to see how they develop as they release more music.
By now, the venue was packed - thankfully, we only had to wait 15 minutes for Bis to take to the stage. Starting off with School Disco the whole room was dancing like they were part of the coolest dance competition that never was, and they didn't stop until the last note was over (seriously, I feel like some of the audience members deserve their own mini reviews for their dancing!).

The set list was, like in Glasgow, made up mostly of the band's early material, with their two newest songs fitting in seamlessly. My personal favourites of the night were Teen-C Power, Keroleen and Kill Yr Boyfriend. As I said in my last review, I hope the new songs are a sign of more new material to come!

Bis are a band that I would happily go see live everyday for the rest of my life. For now, I'll just settle for listening to them obsessively at home. I'm assuming there are people in the world who don't like Bis and, to be honest, that's a scary thought. Anyway... Teen-C Power!

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