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LIVE REVIEW: Bipolar Sunshine + Indiana + Kimberly Anne at Manchester Academy 2 – 5th April 2014

Bipolar Sunshine embarked on their biggest headline show to date last night, which saw them make a welcome return home for a headline show at Manchester’s Academy 2, the place was packed and everyone left having felt like they’d had the time of their lives. Having already supported the likes of Rudimental, London Grammar and Phoenix in the last year alone, Bipolar Sunshine is continuing to rake up lots of interest and hype from the media and fans alike, with his distinctive blend of sunny melodies, heartfelt lyricism and lush soundscapes.

P1060342We were treated to some of the best up and coming home-grown talents, it’s rare that you come across a line up this good. First to take the stage was young singer/songrwiter, Kimberly Anne. She lit up the stage with her friendly and exuberant presence, for an artist that is alone on a big stage like that it can seem a little daunting but Kimberly Anne took it in her stride and she was at home up there. Performing songs from her début EP and latest release, Hard As Hello EP. Her rapturous vocals shined and engulfed the whole room, only complimented by the gloriously upbeat pop melodies. I have to say, if you get the chance to see her live, definitely grab it with both hands, she’s a real talent and she’s sure to go far. If you like what Lianne La Havas does, then you’ll love Kimberly Anne.

P1060343Next up was Nottingham born Indiana. Riding on the high of her new single, Solo Dancing, gaining a worldwide Hype Machine number one spot and also being named as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record, things are going very well for this young artist right now. Indiana‘s moody, minimal, airy synth pop cut through the atmosphere in the room and it settled the crowd into an intense haze of captivated onlookers as we all, I think, fell a little in love with Indiana, she stole our hearts and our minds. Her strong presence and the confidence she carries with her throughout the set makes it’s impossible not to think, how is she not headlining her own tour by now?

Her set was full of light and shade, from huge, earth shattering moments with Smoking Gun and Solo Dancing, to lighter, stripped back moments from Animal and not forgetting the winner of the night, the slow burner that shimmers in its darkness, Mess Around. Indiana‘s set is enough to leave you satisfied but craving for more. I felt that Mess Around was the perfect song to end on as it burrows itself deep into your brain and leaves you tantalised for more. There’s a sharpness to her voice that reels you in from the very first note, yet also at times her vocal almost purrs, she lets out that inner animal, sometimes embodying a tame kitten, but more often letting out that aggressive feline inside, she’s a tigress on stage. Yet with her heavenly vocals she could easily fool you.

P1060354Bipolar Sunshine, the brainchild of Mancunian, Adio Marchant, it’s safe to say stole everyone’s hearts last night. It was a wonderful show, a real testament to the hard work they’ve put into this band, all we need now is the début album, which surely can’t be long off now. Before the band took to the stage, we were kept in anticipation with a revolving projection of the movie classic, Gone with the Wind. The band entered stage left and launched straight into the groove swaggering, Drowning Butterflies. Their vibrant and colourful set continued through live favourites Trouble and Blossom. Only taking a little unexpected breather to cover A$AP Rocky’s Long Live, this mellow rendition of the track was a real highlight of the set, for me.

Set List: 1- Drowning Butterflies, 2- Trouble, 3- Are You Happy?, 4- Deckchairs On The Moon, 5- Blossom, 6- Long Live (A$AP Rocky cover), 7- Rivers, 8- Fresh Start, 9- Where Did The Love Go, 10- Fire, 11- Love More, Worry Less

Their ability to merge genres together is what makes this band so special and simply put, great. Ranging from indie, R&B to dance, but always at the core is that emotional heart. Début single, Rivers, made a very welcome appearance, followed by current single, Where Did The Love Go, this song really makes you appreciate being alive. It’s what Bipolar Sunshine do the best, they make bad situations into positives. Fire was a beautiful moment, it has always been a song close to my heart as it was the first Bipolar Sunshine song I ever heard, and literally it is as heartfelt and moving as it gets. Ending the show on a high, obviously it had to be Love More, Worry Less, this song definitely sums up the sentiment of the night, and it turned into one of the most magical moments I’ve ever experienced at a gig. Everyone was one, brought together through the power of music, it’s something really special to be a part of.

The guys didn’t want to leave the stage after that euphoric moment, so we were treated to a little dance along to Beyonce’s Love On Top. The band danced up a storm, as did the crowd, a perfect way to end a glorious evening on. You cannot help but feel a real sense of community when at a Bipolar Sunshine show, it’s all about sharing the love.

You can catch Bipolar Sunshine throughout the summer at some of the best music festivals around, including Sound City in Liverpool, Parklife in Manchester and Live at Leeds, for the full list click here  For more info on Bipolar Sunshine, Indiana and Kimberly Anne, check out the following links below.

KIMBERLY ANNE: Website . Facebook . Twitter

INDIANA: Website . Facebook . Twitter

BIPOLAR SUNSHINE: Website . Facebook . Twitter

Charlotte Holroyd
A lover of music and cinema. Constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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