Live Review: Well Wisher, Doe, Great Cop, Doctrines and The Hipshakes – Fallow Café, Manchester – 23/08/2013

imageTonight’s show is delayed by an hour; pretty straight forward explanation really. As soon as the clock strikes 8.30pm, the show is brought into fruition by Bakewell’s The Hipshakes. The garage punk four-piece have been going for just over a decade now, and this reviewer can’t make heads or tails of them. They are charmingly brash in their raw pop delivery, but the disjointed melodies go over your head. It’s a conundrum to decide whether you think they’re good or not. Regardless, for an opening band they help to open the doors for the forthcoming proceedings. (3/5)

Offering a more consistent blow to the senses, Doctrines are on tip top form this evening. Channelling the spirit of D.C. legends Rites of Spring with a sprinkling of 90s emo, the band are vocally raw and wonderfully woven in tone. Judging from the reactions at the front, the band has planted their seeds well, especially on the back of their recent album ‘ANX’. This post hardcore quartet is solid in their performance and songwriting, so it’d be a good idea to keep an eye out for them. (4/5)

Glaswegian indie punks Great Cop were a fantastic surprise to watch tonight. It’s important not to judge a band by their name, but if a band is named after a Fugazi song, chances are said band is going to be an interesting spectacle. Tonight is the last show for their bassist Adam Lamont-Campbell, and they certainly put this into a set that runs smoothly like clockwork. The vocals are emotionally yearning and strung, the drums smash a dozen ribcages, and the guitars and bass synchronise in huge scope. The only hiccup, out of the band’s control, is the sound levels which slightly hinder a near perfect performance. (4/5)

London trio Doe certainly make their presence known as they’re the loudest band so far tonight. Playing an indie punk style very reminiscent of acts such as The Breeders and Lemuria, Doe bring sweetly churned harmonies with punk rocking guitars. Their enthusiasm for the show is one to be admired, and it’s something that manages to brush off on the crowd. It sounds like the perfect set, but the overall loudness can blur out a massive appreciation for them. Nonetheless, they are a band to look out for in future. (3.5/5)

By the time local emo maestros Well Wisher take to the stage, the real fun can truly begin. Their set acts as a send-off for bassist Sean Haughton, who is leaving for America, and what a send-off it is. Amidst glowing balloons, the band twirls around in their melodies, whilst their frontman displays a consistent and honest pendantacism. The audience is wonderfully receptive, singing along to the words and embracing the band’s calamity centric music. Through and through, two points are to be made here: Well Wisher is a fantastic underappreciated jewel in the underground music scene, which should be granted more attention, and bassist Sean Haughton has been given the send-off he deserves. (5/5)


Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)


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