LIVE REVIEW: Another Sky + Talkboy at YES, Manchester

Both Talkboy and Another Sky delivered fantastic, captivating, and highly varied sets. If you don’t feel remotely curious about the details, best clock out now, because really anything else I write is gonna be elaboration on how excellent the gig was. However, if your eyelids are still twitching for more detail, follow me into this cavernous review.

Let’s begin with the venue. YES is quickly establishing itself as a great musical colony outside the isolated Northern Quarter. The basement is a chameleon venue, catering to the moody timbre of Another Sky and the sharp energy of Talkboy in equal measure, grimy and clean cut all at once. Also, you can order chips in-house until 11pm. Is this heaven? Yes? Yes.

Now for the night’s beginnings. Talkboy crowded the stage and delivered snappy, efficient tunes with character by the fistful. Watching the Leeds sextet was akin to binging an addictive Netflix show; exciting, comforting and rewarding all at once. The audience, whether they knew the band or not, where evidently impressed. Unlike many bands at this level, Talkboy’s songs were peppered with lots of fantastic ideas, little rhythmic switch ups, and spots of genuine genius. The speedy vocal delivery of Over & Under with the angry staccato hits of its second verse was breathtaking. Meanwhile Someone Else For You boasted lush backing vocals that sighed and swooned, filling the whole room with emotion. Even when the band pull back, giving long seconds of silence, nobody speaks. Pure magic.

Though a band with a similarly focused attitude, Another Sky are a very different animal to their support act. Brooding and veiled by thick smoke, their operatic vocals drift through the silhouettes of the audience like flaming embers. You wouldn’t have known that all four members were ‘so ill’ but by their own admission, as the clacking drums and ferocious drops made for a highly energetic and dramatic performance. Hints of contemporaries like London Grammar, The XX and Daughter were apparent, and their acoustically driven tracks teased yelps and sing-alongs from the crowd. It’s very easy for a band to lie and say that a show is ‘the best of the tour,’ but when Another Sky said it, you were hard pressed not to believe them; they were on fine form. Highlights included the relentless Avalanche, and an as-yet-unreleased and untitled track that any fan should be very, VERY excited to hear in its final studio incarnation.

Though contrasting, the duo of bands brought a rich selection of ideas, feelings, and memories to the show. Nothing negative to report, not a lull in proceedings, just pure, unadulterated live bliss. Now we just have to wait for them to come visit again…

Another Sky will continue their UK tour throughout February – full list of dates can be found here

Another Sky February tour dates:

Friday 15th – Rock City, Nottingham
Tuesday 19th – Bullingdon, Oxford
Wednesday 20th Feb – Crofters Rights, Bristol
Thursday 21st Feb – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Monday 25th Feb – Heartbreakers, Southampton
Tuesday 26th Feb – Komedia Studio Bar, Brighton
Wednesday 27th Feb – The Portland Arms, Cambridge
Thursday 28th Feb – Rich Mix, London

Photo Credit: Steve Turvey

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