Live Review: Real Friends, Modern Baseball, You Blew It! and Nai Harvest – The Star & Garter, Manchester – 14/05/2014

imageIt’s hard to talk about modern, alternative music these days without the four names on last Wednesdays bill. I mean, Nai Harvest, You Blew It!, Modern Baseball and Real Friends, do you really need an introduction?

Nai Harvest were first up, and being the second time in the space of about a month I’ve seen them grace this stage, I was only further impressed. They made their way through some classic hits from previous releases and even threw in a couple of new tracks to wet fans’ appetite for their forthcoming album. Nai Harvest aren’t ever quite perfect live but their trashy delivery is exactly what fans have come to expect, and seeing so many people singing lyrics with arms in the air whilst only one band deep is testament to their importance. A headline slot would be what I want to see next. (4/5)

Perhaps You Blew It! were expecting more of a response from tonight’s crowd, when their lead singer let out his frustrations saying, “What is is seven AM here? wake up!” It was obviously beginning to show. Up until this point, I thought the band were doing incredibly well in delivering their repertoire of witty on stage banter and math tinged alt rock. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen “successful” bands from the States show dissatisfaction at English crowds reactions, all I could say to put this right would be to say that their live show was enough to send me back home to check them out, and to see tapping used so effectively in a genre dominated by power chords was both impressive and refreshing. (4/5)

If you don’t know who Modern Baseball are at this point, I can only recommend that you check them out. They are one of, if not the most important band around at the moment. I spoke to a few people after they had played and one word kept cropping up to describe the show, that word? Fun. And it’s true, Modern Baseball are an incredibly fun band to see live, the way they can deliver such touchingly honest songs to a crowd of strangers is truly something special. So special in fact that it warranted massive sing alongs, stage diving and everyone who knew the band leaving with a massive smile on their face. What more do you want than that? (5/5)

At first I thought that Real Friends had a tough act to follow in their touring buddies, but as soon as they started it was more than clear who the majority of paying customers were here to see. I don’t know much about the band to be honest with you, other than seeing them all over Tumblr and that when I checked them out before the show I found their album to be a little bit on the cheesy side of things. What I learnt about them that night though was that despite the initial negativity I had towards them, they are a solid live pop-punk band that are capturing people’s attention the world over. I can only see Real Friends capitalising on this success for the future and becoming a force to really be reckoned with, perhaps similar to something on the same scale as modern pop-punk heroes The Story So Far. (4/5)

5/5

Words by Shaun Cole

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