The Graveltones & The Franklys @ Gullivers
I had wanted to see The Graveltones for a couple of years having missed them every time they came to Manchester, Don’t Wait Down was one of my top five albums of 2013 so I was delighted when they announced they were playing Gullivers.
The anticipation was huge but to warm up the crowd were The Franklys who, to be frank, I had never heard of and for the next 30 minutes or so I was blown away by them. They describe themselves as an all-girl garage rock’n’roll band from London although they are really a multi-national affair. Bassist Zoe Briggs is the only Brit and her rhythm section partner in crime, Nicole Pinto on drums with Swedes Jen Ahlkvist on guitar and vocals, and Fanny Broberg on lead guitar.
Live, the band were a smorgasbord of pop, punk and hard rock’n’roll with the twin guitars causing organised mayhem over the top of a solid beat which really drives the sound. The songs were short, sweet and powerful, and I was blown away by their performance.
Closing song Puppet was a slice of premium pop punk that wouldn’t have been out of place on Top Of The Pops in the late 70’s. The audience reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The band are now heading back to the studio and will be back on tour in the spring and quite frankly, I will not be missing The Frankly’s at their next Manchester gig!
The Graveltones are a two-piece band, one of the many drum and guitar outfits out there at the moment, with Jimmy O on vocals/guitar and Mikey Sorbello on drums. Both Australian, they met in London and formed the band. When they started the stage lights were dimmed further (making photography a bloody nightmare) and the volume was turned up way beyond 11 – it was unbelievably loud, even with wearing earplugs it was too loud.
The performance was intense, the band were giving it 100% with their raw and dirty heavy blues rock. Jimmy fully abusing his guitar like a man possessed and Mikey hammering his drums and the audience were fully lapping this up. Well, everyone apart from me. I have to admit I was deflated and disappointed by this. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing bad about the performance, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The subtlety and nuances of the Don’t Wait Down album were thrown out and lost completely. And even though the new album Love Lies Dying is an altogether heavier affair, the songs take on a new, louder, much heavier lease of life in the live setting.
Kiss And Fuck Off, from the new album, was the opener and set the pace for the evening, a brutal assault on the ears. As you would expect their performance was primarily made up of new songs with only a handful from earlier releases, hence my disappointment. Choice cuts from the new release were the aforementioned Kiss…, Can’t Tell A Man and Loves Gonna Break. Catch Me On The Fly was probably the best from the previous album. But it was loud, my ears ringing for a long time afterwards.
Images & Words: Anthony Firmin