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Bdrmm, Band on the Wall. 5th March 2024

I’m not sure I’ve seen Band on the Wall this busy in a while. Bdrmm have got popular! Deservedly so, every time I’ve seen them play Manchester, sets have got bigger and better. Amazing considering I was blown away the very first time! Massive Atrack’s ‘Angel’ rolls out of the speakers with a dark bass rumble that sets the tone as always, as the psychedelic projection fires up and they take to the stage. The warm up music fades and their own dark brooding menace takes over. This isn’t something I really associate them with, but as ‘Alps’ intros it’s full of gothic torment, that gives way to a soaring demonic disco banger. ‘Be Careful’ is a much more laid back groove and gets the heads nodding. It’s the calm before ‘It’s Just a Bit of Blood’ with its quiet/loud dynamic. Ryan’s angelic vocal going toe to toe with those pounding drums.  The sound has always been good in here, but since the refurb it’s even better. There’s no mistaking ‘Gush’ is emanating from the stage with those lovely jangling guitar riffs, but they bounce gloriously around the room and seem to fire back off the bar at the back and envelope your soul. Conor’s drums sound like mini explosion on ‘We Fall Apart’ which drives along with its juggernaut bass. I’ve said this before but this is where they excel. Locking in a going for it. Beefed up shoegaze at its core, they transcend it, especially on songs like ‘Hidden Cinema’. The vocals float on a gothy breeze, whilst EDM beats make the floor vibrate and your ribcage buzz. “This is our latest single, it’s called Standard Tuning” introduces one that I don’t think I’ve heard before. It takes a lot of what they’ve had before, but throw it all together. It’s much dancier and upbeat, it’s almost Balearic but still has the ethereal vibe. ‘Is That What You Wanted to Hear’ starts with a haunted riff which reminds me of a short film I worked on in the early naughties. It’s pulled right the way through and holds together a majestic tune that threatens to bleed out of the venue. Another new one, at least I don’t recognise it is ‘Three’. It sounds great though and whets my appetite for album, er…. three! ‘If’ then is pure 90s grunge, with the distortion levelled out and more angelic vocals. I know I’ve used that description before, I don’t care, he sounds beautiful. Pixies would die for this song, it’s that good. As is ‘Forget the Credits’ with its slow cinematic saunter. Jordan proving he can match his brother’s vocal and the romantic wooziness makes me feel punch drunk. It’s a blinding set and as we reach the business end, the big guns are pulled out, with old favourite ‘Push/Pull’. It’s always been a bit of a monster, but with its frenetic pace it sounds even more so tonight. The double bill of ‘Happy’ and ‘(Un)happy’ follow. More than just titles, they’re like two movements of the same song. Utterly glorious and I get totally lost as ‘(Un)happy’ closes. They finish with ‘Port’ after directing us to the merch table to fund tomorrow’s dinner. Seriously we need to look after artists like this better. It’s a fantastic set closer, a monolithic mammoth, it could raise the dead before putting them back six feet under. The only issue with it is it doesn’t last long enough, I don’t want it to stop. After nearly 90 minutes though, they’ve put in a helluva shift and send me back out into the night with a ridiculous smile.


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