Band of Horses /w/ Goldheart Assembly @ Manchester Academy 19/11/2012

With over a thousand people bundled into Manchester’s Academy 1 the perception of Mondays as being dull and encumbered affairs was surely proven wrong. The support act arriving at all was a relief in itself to the growing crowd, as Goldheart Assembly took to the stage with heaps of energy, and a raucous sound amidst more melodic verses. Earlier in the day the band had worried their fans, via Twitter, with three of the five members confessing that they had missed their ferry from Belfast. However, as they launched into their set the panic was over. The Beatle-esque tunes and frenzied shouts coalescing to stir the crowd into a generous show of appreciation. Amongst the standout tracks of their performance were ‘So Long St. Christopher’, a single taken from their 2010 album Wolves and Thieves, and ‘Oh Really’, a fast paced track owes a debt to The Yardbirds’ ‘For Your Love’.

After a more than satisfactory support set, from the London alternative pop group, Band of Horses arrived onstage to a rapturous applause. Opening with ‘On My Way Back Home’ from 2010’s Infinite Arms they set the standards high for all that was to follow. With four albums and a plethora of tracks to choose from they continued in this course easily enough, playing both ‘Laredo’ and ‘The Great Salt Lake’ to an enthused crowd only half an hour into the set. Other high points of the night that were to follow included ‘Is There a Ghost’ from Cease to Begin, and ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’,yet another single from the album released in 2007.

As well as dipping into their extensive, and rather impressive, discography the band debuted a cover of J.J Cale’s ‘Leaving in the Morning’, the crowd warming to the song quickly and with a flurry of cheers. There were some weaker moments, however, with newer tracks like ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Undone’ and ‘Electric Music’, off their latest album, making less of an impact on the Manchester crowd. Yet the introduction of more established material into the set, such as for example, ‘The Funeral’, soon managed to console these minor low points; the aforementioned song apparently played early as to allow people working in the morning to leave sooner, or so joked Ben Bridwell, lead singer of the Seattle band. In spite of this humbling admission of the former song’s popularity over other tracks the majority of the crowd remained, and thus were rewarded in doing so. One particular treat for those that stayed was the finale, an excellent rendition of ‘The General Specific’ another track taken from Cease to Begin. As the venue lights brightened and the crowd began to shuffle towards the exit it appeared that Bridwell and Co. had achieved their goal, proving that Mondays don’t always have to be drab, whilst allowing Manchester to “party” with them, if just for one night.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JackGYarwood

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