All photos by Ellen McGoran – Ellen McGoran Graphics
On December 30th, Manchester based trio Man Made hosted an end of year party at one of their favourite independent venues; the Night and Day Cafe, situated in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The band headlined the event, teasing that they’d be joined on stage by a ‘special guest’ and were supported by Warrington shoe gazers Danxia and the brooding melodies of Manchester’s Horsebeach. From the initial announcement, this was an end of year party that was not to be missed.
Man Made aren’t afraid to dive into the unknown and took to the stage with a blistering new song from their eagerly anticipated second album; the follow up to their debut album ‘TV Broke My Brain’ that was released in April last year. Though the set list mainly consisted of new material from the forthcoming album, it was also peppered with fan favourites that included ‘Hi Tech Low Life’ and ‘Vegetative State’. The bass-heavy drumbeat and infectious guitar that kicks off their single ‘Carsick Cars’ whipped the crowd into a frenzy and heads bopped in unison from the front to the back of the venue, with the more recent single ‘Bring Some’ gaining the same response from the captivated and enthusiastic crowd.
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With his soaring riffs and intricate guitar work, vocalist and guitarist Nile Marr knows how to showcase his talent and is a particularly engaging front-man. Nile plays alongside the strong rhythm section of bassist Callum Rogers and drummer Blair Murray – it will surprise most to know that former Twisted Wheel member Blair only made his debut with the band at Festival No.6 back in September last year. Blair is an absolute force to be reckoned with and it’s hard to believe that his powerful and energetic drumming style hasn’t been a part of the band and their sound from the very start.
Nile gracefully thanked the Night and Day for allowing them to host the party and explained that since 2016 had been so awful, they wanted to end their show with something that everybody would enjoy, before introducing “the King of Manchester”; Johnny Marr. The crowd erupted as Johnny took to the stage with his sons band for the very first time and played The Smiths classic ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, before playing along to the intensely atmospheric track ‘All Mine’ from ‘TV Broke My Brain’.
With one more thanks from Nile and a thanks to Man Made (“the best band in Manchester”) from Johnny, the four ended the show with a cover of The Primitives ‘Crash’. Nile previously joined Johnny on stage for a rendition of ‘Crash’ throughout the duration of Johnny’s 2015 ‘Adrenalin Baby’ UK tour, which Man Made supported. Friday nights cover received an electric response from the crowd, leaving them awe-stricken over the combination of how well Nile’s soft and Johnny’s raw vocals complimented each other and the sheer brilliance of double Marr playing guitar together.
2016 has been Man Made’s most successful year yet and they couldn’t have ended it in a better way than with a triumphant homecoming show in such an intimate and quirky venue. Their onstage dynamic is refreshing to see and with a new single on the way, i’m confident that 2017 will be another great year for them. Their next Manchester show is as part of the ‘LuCoo Live’ all-day event at Soup Kitchen on January 21st 2017.