At The Sun / The Howling Tides / Midnight Drive At Gullivers: Live Review

At The Sun / The Howling Tides / Midnight Drive At Gullivers: Live Review


When South London’s rising rockers AT THE SUN came to Manchester on the third night of their ‘Leave Before The Light’ Tour, we expected a blistering performance, and the band lived up their name as they rode into town and stormed through the doors of Gullivers, all guns blazing…


Words: Anne Estella | Photos: Anthony Firmin


Opening up were local four-piece Midnight Drive, but it soon became apparent that vocalist George Holding was unwell and suffering from a really bad throat. He managed to battle through a six-song set with a little extra help from bassist Arran Lomax, giving a surprisingly solid performance under the circumstances. The fierce, fast-paced set included the band’s latest single Nasty as well as The Weeknd cover, Starboy. As a thoughtful member of the audience went up to deposit a throat lozenge on the stage, Holding said to the crowd, “Thank you so much for putting up with my shitty voice – after this I’m going to enjoy this lozenge!”

The performance, which included some excellent vocal harmonies and powerful drumming from Cal Ripley, concluded with the band’s debut single, Break, and all the musicians looked relieved that they’d made it through to the end, singer in tact. I honestly wouldn’t have known Holding was so poorly if he hadn’t have mentioned it and very much look forward to seeing this young, exciting new band again when they’re back on top form and able to give it 100%.

Midnight Drive are:

George Holding – Vocals

Charles Henniker – Guitar

Arran Lomax – Bass / Backing vocals

Cal Ripley - Drums





The Shadow


Breaking Towers




 Hailing from Staffordshire, blues-hearted hard rock quartet The Howling Tides - who describe their interests simply as ‘Music’ on their Facebook page - were next to wash up on Gullivers’ stage. This is a band that I’ve been itching to see since the 2018 release of their stunning, hard-hitting eponymous debut EP. The band, who previously went by the moniker Anonymous, played a generous set which included the kickass songs Crack My Soul, Cheap Painkiller, Death By Exile and Running Blind from their EP, as well as several new, equally infectious tracks.

With unrelenting crashing guitars, The Howling Tides flooded the room with a huge sound that epitomized everything I love about the UK’s current rock scene. Rob Baynes’ strong vocals were on point and this band - who I’ve waited to see for what’s seemed like an eternity - did not disappoint in the slightest. Introducing the final song, He Told Me, Baynes called, “This is our last track before AT THE SUN absolutely destroy the stage!” But the destruction had already begun, with The Howling Tides warming up the cold city centre venue to fever pitch, ready to be incinerated by the white hot headliners… 

The Howling Tides are:

Rob Baynes – Vocals / Guitar

Hayden Kirk – Guitar / Vocals

Luke Lawley – Bass / Vocals 

Steven 'Herbie' Herbert - Drums 


Cut Losses

Death By Exile


Crack My Soul


Running Blind

Cheap Painkiller

Blue Moon

He Told Me


 Rock ‘n’ roll quintet AT THE SUN were making their first ever appearance in Manchester, on their biggest headline tour to date in support of their recently-released debut album. The band exploded with a thunderous intro before tearing into the riff-heavy stomper Breathe. Harry Dale’s soulful vocals shone through the entire set, which incorporated some superb guitar solos from Kieron Heavens and some very nimble playing by bassist Alex Matthews, who sauntered between Heavens and lead guitarist Chet Jogia for plenty of brotherly on-stage interaction. The band gave a new lease of life to the well-known Rag ‘n’ Bone Man track, Human, which they’ve just released as a single, and Dale dedicated Bite Your Tongue to “all the fucking idiots in the world”, culminating in an electrifying instrumental climax.  

The full-throttle set was brought down a notch as a tambourine heralded the start of Indestructible, which was touchingly dedicated to all of our loved ones who are no longer with us, but continue to inspire us every day. One of many highlights came in the form of the addictively swaggering Devil In Your Eyes, before the raucous penultimate song Raise Your Glass was duly dedicated to the rapturous crowd. With a whole host of festival appearances already in the pipeline, chances are AT THE SUN will be playing somewhere near you this year. I would strongly urge you to go and see them - and make sure you bring along the highest SPF you can find, because you’re going to need it!


Harry Dale - Vocals

Kieron Heavens – Rhythm Guitar

Chet Jogia – Lead Guitar

Alex Matthews - Bass

Craig Steen - Drums



Walk On Over


Only A Fool



Bite Your Tongue

Lay It On Me



Devil In Your Eyes

Raise Your Glass

Soak It Up




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