Soup Kitchen, Manchester
You may well not have heard of the The Longcut. They formed in Manchester and made some considerable waves with their excellent 2006 debut ‘A Call and Response’. I was a big fan of that record and saw them live a few times, and memorably euphoric gigs they were. I never forgot them amid the never-ending deluge of new music because they really had something, and they were local. That’s the stuff cult bands are made of. There was one more album in 2009 and after that only very sporadic activity and the occasional gig. I suspect Longcut are going to be one of those Manchester bands, a bit like say The Chameleons that have a devoted loyal and local following – and sure enough this small venue is rammed full to celebrate the release of the first new album in 9 years.
The band are a 3 piece, with frontman Stuart alternating between singing and then dashing round the back to sit behind the drum stool. This was borne of necessity when their original singer left but in fact has become a defining factor of their sound and the songs suddenly soar as the insistent programmed drums fall away and Stuart gets physical on the live drums – it’s a great M.O. and creates a really good momentum to the performance.
The new album ‘Arrows’ is given a good airing and the new tracks get as good a reaction as “the oldies”. The new stuff has a more expansive feel, with lots of epic Mogwai/Slowdive epic guitar washes underpinning the bands rhythms which are rooted in the proto-electro of Section 25 or early New Order.
‘A Quiet Life’ ends the set, perhaps their best known track and duly the audience go a wee bit crazy. I’m stood next to the sound engineer and he zeros the desk and starts to cue the DJ in – only for the band to come back on and he has to very quickly reset everything – so it’s nice to see the encore wasn’t planned.
Capacity crowd, some very excitable people down the front. Fat Alex was there -which is always the sign it’s going to be a good gig.
It made me think..
The Longcut don’t come around very often but they’re unmissable and tonight was a reminder of just how wonderful they are. I hope they gain some new fans on this round of live dates. Picked up their new LP from the Merch Desk and it’s highly recommended. Go and hear ‘Arrows’ by the Longcut if you like electronic beats, big tunes and swooning epic guitars you will like it. Spread the word!