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AAA Music | 23 May 2024

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The Front Bottoms – Live @ Sound Control

| On 08, Sep 2014

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Friday 29th August, Manchester

On a rainy Friday evening in Manchester I made my journey to Sound Control, one of Manchester’s blossoming venues for the club and live music scene. Upon arrival, I sensed tonight would be something a little different and my premonitions were correct – I felt like I had been taken back in a time machine and was my younger self at one of my very first shows. The crowd tonight was a sea of predominantly young teenagers and curious twenty-somethings.

On with the show. The first band to grace the stage was a Canadian band known as PUP, who, besides the pretentious grammar, offered a scoop of enjoyable melodically driven pop rock. The atmosphere felt a little strained during their time on the stage; the crowd were a mix of first-time listeners and fans, which ultimately made it difficult for the band to establish a firm connection with the attendees. Nonetheless, the band soldiered on and by the end their set an impromptu crowd surf by the band’s lead vocalist lifted the atmosphere.

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As the headliners were about to grace the stage, the house lights went off and a sombre mood dropped in the room as  ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ came through the PA. It was a very odd choice, but nevertheless the band arrived to a stirred and anxious audience lapping up every second of it. I was witnessing a full-circle of fandom, very reminiscent of the days of blink-182, and the cultivation of fashion and music. The Front Bottom’s performance evoked something more than that of a band performing to an audience: the audience and the band congealed as if dependent on each other. It was evident that to some this band were their idols, their peers, and their music transcended; it was more than of a face value reaction, to some of these fans it has become tangible.

Their musical execution may have left a lot to be desired, but was it worth the money or the time? It is argued that when producing “art”, if your heart is in it for the right reasons people will know, but should there be a rule to this argument? If all “art” is honest, can we merit solely on that fact? I believe that the music I heard tonight was a testament to “art” of prepubescent aches and pains of people with a need to let out their woes and worries.  It was celebrated because, like most music, it illustrates what a lot of us go through.

Review + Photos: Joe Sheridan