Mohawk Radio Single Launch Gig
On The Fifth Floor (as opposed to US metallers Fifth On The Floor) are a three piece rock band who don’t even look 16 and I thought should really be at home drinking their cocoa. However, this was obviously a let out night for them and they also seemed to have a small fan club of schoolgirls with them for moral support.
As for the music it was a mix of alt and indie style rock with a bit of grunge thrown in. The drummer however only seemed to be tickling the drums along with a bass sound that just seemed to plod, which made life really difficult for the guitarist and singer who was giving it 100%. Its funny because when they did a cover of Gene Genie the drummer was really pounding away and then the following song it was back to tickling those drums.
I know it takes a lot of guts to get up on stage and that they have done so is admirable but all of the band members need to have faith in what they are doing and just go for it.
Renegade & Retrospect are well loved by MR and the band step things up several notches and show the kids how to do it. Right from the start, opening with Devils Chokehold, they were a tour de force on stage with their heavy blues rock. The bass from Daniel Godwin was absolutely thunderous in the mix working well with Gareth Hodges drumming. Jordan Leppit’s guitar playing and singing was spot on too proving that they are amongst the top bands currently trailblazing the Manchester rock music scene.
The last two tracks, Too Fast For Me and Unorthodox Satisfaction showed the crowd what an amazingly tight band they are and that they deserve more support.
The next band up I knew absolutely nothing about and came as a huge surprise. The Jonny Oates Band from Preston are, well, I suppose you could call them a folk rock band but that would be an injustice as they are more than that. They were more Springsteen with Tom Waits thrown in and with an interesting array of musicians on stage the music they made was quite incredible with violin, sax and keyboards thrown in the mix.
A song called U2 because they felt it sounded like U2 sounded nothing like U2 to me, a straight ahead rocker with more than a nod to the aforementioned Mr Springsteen. Jonny Oates is also rather talented and in addition to having an excellent voice as well as playing mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar. This was the first time I had seen them and it certainly won’t be the last.
But the night was for Stockport based Mohawk Radio and their single release. They are a band I have seen a number of times now but this was the first time in a larger setting and they benefited massively from a professional PA system resulting in a larger, fuller sound from the band.
They opened with Rock N Roll Heaven and quickly followed it with an awesome version of Skin’s Weak As I am which was, to be fair, rather good! The band then moved into playing a song recently recorded on their visit to Wales, Superstar. In such a large venue Lifetime Of Sunshine radiated as it always does and sounded anthemic and then they finished their set with the new single Two Million Heartbeats.
Overall this was a much more powerful set with the band and their infectious pop rock benefitting hugely from the facilities that Club Academy provide – larger stage, professional PA, great lights – a huge confidence booster for them. Although not their first gig of the year, it is certainly the kickstart of what is going to be an awesome year for them.
Words/Photos: Anthony Firmin