It’s only been 8 months since Manchester lads The Hotspur Press released their well-received ‘Island EP’ but they’re already on the campaign trail with new material ready for a stream of releases over the course of the year. Tonight’s show at the Soup Kitchen in Manchester’s Northern Quarter has been put on to celebrate the release of the emo-tinged indie four piece’s latest single, ‘All You Know’, a song that slips nicely into the band’s growing catalogue of emotive anthems.
Support for the evening comes from acoustic songstress Ellysee Mason and The Nix, an indie five piece from nearby Stockport. By the time both acts are finished, they leave the crowd buzzing with anticipation for the main act to capitalise on.
Especially for an as-yet-unsigned act, the crowd that is gathered in Soup Kitchen’s basement is impressively large and is testament to the hard work put in by The Hotspur Press since they expanded from an acoustic duo of Daniel Manchester on Guitar and Vocals with George Webster on Drums. Their sound has grown louder and more refined since the addition of Tomas Manchester on Lead Guitar and Chris Nutter on Bass so it’s easy to see why this local act are being booked up and down the country; they’re gaining a solid reputation the old fashioned way.
In a bold move, the band kick off their set with an unreleased number called ‘Other People’, a song that will serve as their next single once they’ve applied the finishing touches to it in the studio. Regardless of whether their audience is familiar with the opener, it goes down a treat and the set goes from strength to strength from thereon in.
They build on that momentum with the first real sing-along of the set in the lead-off single from the ‘Island EP’ as they launch into the hook-laden ‘Medicine’ before slipping in a couple of slower pieces in The 1975-esque ‘Glass’ and ‘Radio’ from that release. It’s not all plain sailing getting from one song to another as technical issues interrupt proceedings but they style it out with an instrumental segue, aware that silence can be deafening in a live setting.
It’s clear that frontman Daniel Manchester is a little overwhelmed with just how much support The Hotspur Press are getting tonight as he thanks everyone for getting involved, making the long drive up from their Ipswich show the previous night all the more worth it. New single ‘All You Know’ and its predecessor, ‘Ninety-Three’ bring an end to the main part of the set before what’s described as a ‘fake encore’ ensues as they feign to leave the stage without actually doing so. It’s a nostalgic end to proceedings too as they hark back to their first single, ‘The Ring’, written and recorded before Tomas and Chris joined the ranks.
The set draws to a close with a truly crowd-pleasing cover as they take on Don Henley’s ‘Boys of Summer’. It’s further evidence that The Hotspur Press are beginning to master putting on a show that befits their recorded output; don’t be surprised if you see them popping up all over the place as the year marches on.
This The Hotspur Press article was written by Simon Carline, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson. Live Photo taken by Sam Pilling.