The Picturebooks at The Deaf Institute: Live Review
Words and Photos: Anthony Firmin
The Picturebooks have come a long way in the past 4 or so years since we saw them open for The Answer and even back then we were blown away. Two piece bands had become common place but only a few really stood out - Red Stripes and Royal Blood spring to mind - we would add these guys to the top section of the list.
They haven’t overdone touring here and even without a support band this evening there is a good size crowd - the anticipation is high especially as they are promoting a recently released new album The Hands of Time.
Opening with a string of favourites gets the crowd in the mood - I Need That Oooh, PCH Diamond and Fire Keeps Burning will do that to you. It is obvious the band love Manchester as they name check various venues they have played in recent years to cheers from those present, clearly a dedicated following and all shows we have covered too.
New songs like the reptilian themed Lizard, and Howling Wolf - which is played on a Mandolin - go down really well, much of the crowd already familiar with them.
The band had to cancel a show a couple of days ago as guitarist Fynn had an ear infection but as a result of a visit to MRI today he is “feeling fucking good” much to our relief and he is giving 100 percent. The introduction of piano shows how they are expanding their sound and indicates the intro to another new song The Day The Thunder Arrives.
Rain reminds us of spaghetti westerns with the whistling and the sound of the chime of a church bell from drummer Phillip "Maddin" whereas Electric Nights see’s him hit a sheet of metal that looks like part of a car bonnet.
Fynn wants everyone to go crazy for the last three songs and everyone promptly does to slide lead in The Hands of Time. My personal favourite The Rabbit And The Wolf is excellent as always, played with such enthusiasm that Phillip hurts his hand – a first aid kit is required. The band finish their main set with Your Kisses Burn Like Fire and it is bruising as is the whole of tonight’s performance! As the band approach the top of their game their return can’t come soon enough!