Young Guns @ Academy 2
Anthony Firmin feels it in his bones, bones, bones, bohhhhones as he watches Young Guns triumphant return to Manchester…
Other than their brief appearance on the Kerrang! tour as “surprise special guests”, Young Guns have kept a low profile. But with new album Ones And Zeroes due to be released within days of the gig (it has been over 3 years since Bonescame out) it was time for ManchesterRocks to catch up with the alternative rockers live. However, first up were Dead!
Try finding something out about Dead! on the internet with a simple Google search becomes an almost impossible task so I had no idea what to expect. The band play high energy punk’n’roll with catchy songs like Save Me, Alaska andEverything coming across well with singer Alex Mountford’s distinct vocals cutting through but with a demon like intensity. The rhythm guitarist needs to shut up though, he can’t sing to save his life! Predictably most of the audience put their hands up when Mountford asked if anyone had NOT of heard of us but I am sure this is not the last we will see or hear from them.
In complete contrast, during the break Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough came blaring out of the speakers, cue half the audience seriously boogie-ing away to it – great fun! I digress…
Nothing But Thieves have been on my radar to see live and I have to say they were nothing but impressive with songs such as Itch, Trip Switch and Ban All The Music, Conor’s effortless crystal clear vocals sounding very much like Jeff Buckley at times. Musically the band were on great form and worked so well as a unit that I cannot believe they haven’t been playing together for years. They did have a go at alienating half the audience in 5 seconds by asking are there any Manchester United fans here tonight, not the brightest move when you are trying to garner support. Regardless of that faux pas they deserved far more than the 30 minutes or so that they got and it was obvious that a lot of the crowd appreciated them. I highly recommend you get to see this band live – they were awesome!
Apart from the aforementioned Kerrang! Tour and their 15 minutes of fame on it, Young Guns hadn’t headlined a show in Manchester in 2½ years but the wait was over as the band launched into I Want Out with a cry of everybody jumpfrom singer Gustav Wood and most obeyed his requested with the floor predictably moving with the crowds jumps. The set was high energy with Dearly Departed, new song Rising Up and Stitches starting off the show.
Prior to Towers (On My Way) Wood suggested that the bouncers had it easy so far and that they audience should give them something to do by starting crowd surfing, predictably accompanied by a mosh pit. Sadly people got hurt. I felt very sorry for two younger girls who were heading for the exit, one of whom was bleeding after being hit by a surfer who fell sideways, not quite making it to the barrier.
The intensity continued through the rest of the set with the band continually banging out the songs with Wood announcing that this had been the best gig of the tour so far and the crowd responded accordingly! Other new songsDaylight and Speaking In Tongues were also well received but the highlight was at the end of the show, You Are Not got the whole crowd singing along before ending with their biggest hit, Bones and the crowd went mental.
They readily admitted that they hadn’t known what to expect on this tour as it had been so long since they had played so on a number of occasions they thanked everyone for coming out – their honesty was palpable. This was a flawless performance by everyone in the band and responded to the energy that came back to them.
This was the fourth time I had seen Young Guns and they never fail to impress live. I can still feel it in my bones, bones, bones, bohhhhones!
Words: Anthony Firmin | Photos: Cai Dixon