When embarking on a solo career, trepidation is to be expected. Johnny Lloyd’s previous project Tribes was beloved by many, and his emergence as a solo artist came as a pleasant, albeit unexpected surprise. However, the strength of his Dreamland EP, and the devotion of his fans, has meant that his gig at Gullivers, Lloyd’s first solo headline foray in Manchester, was packed full, sold out.
Lloyd also had the benefit of two very galvanising support acts on the bill: Crimsons and The RPMs. The latter were particularly entertaining. Cheeky, fun, and slick, The RPMs took audience interaction to a new level, with the novel idea of distributing protest signs during the last song of the set, and chatting throughout. This sense of levity continued throughout Crimsons’ set, and by the time Lloyd hit the stage, all was set for a riotous show.
Although Lloyd and his band stepped onstage with just a hint of nervousness, this was banished once he launched into Could You Love Another, a cheery track with a Strokes vibe. Tracks from his latest EP were well received as expected; Happy Humans was the song of the night, taking on an energy of its own that powered the band through the rest of the evening.
However, there were times when the set lacked distinction; there wasn’t really enough variety in the song arrangements. In terms of performance, it was concise and fun, but the whole performance needed an additional something to make it feel unique.
Regardless of this, it was a light-hearted, fun set. If nothing else, Lloyd showed that he can do more than just walk alone; he can stride alone, head held high, brimming with possibility.
Johnny Lloyd’s Dreamland EP is out now on iTunes and Spotify. Check out when he’s in your town on his Facebook page.