As the Merseysider’s braved the journey to the other end of the M62, Getintothis’ Ian McHale witnessed Sugarmen light the blue touch paper and blast Manchester to smithereens.
Christmas came early for Manchester music fans as Sugarmen, fresh from a blistering gig earlier that night at the Kraak supporting Findlay, hot footed across the city to the resplendent Ugly Man Records Christmas party at the Night and Day.
Like a juggernaut in a hurricane, Luke Fenlon’s immense soul bursting performance captivated the packed venue, holding them hostage to songs that resonate from deep within.
Fat Cats and Nothing But Respect not only epitomise their values and social commentary on the dichotomy of living in today’s society, but also acted as a calling card to do something about it.
Their version of the late great Lou Reed’s Hangin’ Around is sublime as it transports you back to a 70s New York East Village cool. The Night and Day is the new CBGB’s and right now there’s no place we’d rather be.
Chay Heney’s shimmering and staccato guitar style sits gloriously alongside an awesome rhythm section. Tom Shields’ pulsating bass lines are supercharged alongside Sam McVann’s blistering beats as he drums as if his whole existence depends on it.
The dazzling interplay and energy created by the band is mesmerising with Chay even taking main vocals for Central Line and looking the consummate frontman with an effortless swagger, reminiscent of the fabulous Edwyn Collins.
This Is My Life (And It’s Alright) brings the set to a crescendo of epic proportions leaving the audience and new found admirers in no doubt that tonight they have been witness to a band on the rise to big things. Sugarmen are certainly worth getting excited over.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Debbie Tellis.