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LIVE REVIEW: Heir + IBEN at The Castle Hotel, Manchester

Heir cut a reminiscent pop template of decades gone by, as they energetically blast The Castle Hotel’s tightly-packed capacity crowd back to the ’80s. It’s a fitting warm-up to prepare for long-awaited appearances at Reading & Leeds Festivals.

IBEN set the scene for an electro-popping evening. The duo fuse electronic thumps with chart-inspired vocals, as steady drums partner tidy showmanship to whirr the crowd into action.

They are followed by Heir, who buzz about the stage, a quick-moving quintet fizzing and bubbling along to their popped up sound.

Percussion shaking and room quaking, Heir tightly engage the room with their ’80s revivalist sound, as they replicate the hits of history. Their drilled drums and cutting bass battery power the tracks from start to finish, while guitar and keyboard melodics less prominently power the set.

While Heir take the high-temperature crowd on a trip to the treasured past, their dancing quirks and frequent comments to the crowd overly-punctuate their set, and break up the flow.

Nonetheless, new track, ‘Irreplaceable Parts’ and back-seater, ‘King’s Parade’ are an escapist’s dream, as they combine all the funk and romanticism that is merely hinted at in the rest of the set. ‘King’s Parade’ unlocks our minds and strokes at nostalgia, but misses the zest of floral poetic lyricism.

Heir repeat ’80s energy and power to fuel the crowd with rhythmic delights, shaping the decade’s inoffensive colour into a 21st century tune.

Heir’s latest single ‘I’ll Pick You Up’ is out now. Find on iTunes here.

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