The Ninja Report @ Retro Bar
Passion and energy on the edges of perfection
Words: Jay Kirk
Cynics may speculate that the Manchester Music Scene is a mere shadow of what it once was, particularly the underground bands slogging it out in the small venues and pubs of Manchester. The Ninja Report however, are rising from the ashes to claim back a generation of underground rock n roll, and they proved themselves worthy of such a feat by smashing a show at a sold out Retro Bar. Sod the cynics.
From the announcement, this gig promised a good night with a range of talented, local bands and a sold out Retro Bar basement, what more is there to ask for? Easily the heaviest band on the bill, with a metalcore vibe, Minus Eight kicked the night off in a way to appeal to those of a heavier taste, despite their music was received with grimaces from some, their energy certainly got the crowd ready for what was to come.
Local surf punk band Blond Blood played to a slightly bigger crowd, and with a sound more in line with the headline act, the crowd could appreciate the potential these guys hold. A set list of original songs, with a few better known covers slipped in, allowed the talent to show, and left people waiting to see what the future holds for such young musicians.
Travelling from Leeds, Bloodshake made the journey worthwhile by leaving an impression on every person in attendance with a brilliant set, again brimming with young, musical talent. With a slightly grungy feel, these guys certainly proved themselves to be a band worthy of more recognition. Direct support for the Ninjas, female fronted, Air Drawn Dagger were the perfect band to end the anticipation for what was to come from the guys in The Ninja Report.
For a show in the basement of a bar, with mediocre sound quality at best, The Ninja Report smashed it. Absolute quality, a clearly well rehearsed set, which has been polished to the very edges of perfection. With excellent tracks from new EP, It’s Been a While, the four piece really are proving the importance of underground music, especially in a city with one of the most renowned musical histories in the country. It’s Always You, their debut single is an incredible song on record and is something special live, with many crowd members singing alongside vocalist Tim Smith’s incredible voice, leaving us only picturing such a brilliant song being played to a few thousand capacity venue to a dedicated crowd of true Ninja Report fans.
It’s almost a shame to see such a brilliant band play to a reasonably small crowd, in which many of the people are sat down or simply chatting amongst themselves. It’s clear from the get go that these guys are passionate, energetic and put everything they have into a live show, and that is what separates them from any other generic underground rock band, it gives them an edge that makes a live performance that much better. If you haven’t already, check these guys out, and be sure to get down to a Ninja Report Show, as it is a showcase of some of the best live music that Manchester has to offer.
Words: Jay Kirk