Oh Sees at Manchester AcademySupport: The Peacers
June 14, 2017 at Manchester Academy
Promoter: Transformer Events
A late call to cover a show and a rare opportunity for me to go to a show where I haven’t seen any of the bands before. I know plenty of people that were into the Oh Sees (who have recently dropped the Thee from their name), but I had never really checked them out for myself, so a chance to be properly introduced to them live sounded a good one for me.
Only a two band bill this evening, and one thing that was major drawback for the night. The doors opened at seven, but the support band The Peacers didn’t start till gone eight o clock, so you were left with the strange sensation of wandering around waiting for something to happen (instead of my usual visits to shows at the Academy, where you are often in a race against time to get in, get your pass and head to the venue before the first band starts). As it was a very warm evening, a lot of people decided to take shelter in the Academy and wait, so there was a decent crowd for the band coming onstage. I knew very little about them to start with, and the first few tracks sounded very impressive while I was down at the front taking photos. Once I moved back into the crowd, the sound really hadn’t carried too well, and it really didn’t help the band as the front was very active, but the further back you went, people just didn’t seem to be getting into it. Their discordant mixture of pure pop melodies and some distinct Sonic Youth / Dinosaur Jr style noise just wasn’t coming across as well as it could have. Maybe they are better suited to a different type of venue than the cavernous Academy, but they got a decent reaction by the end of the set and struck enough of a chord with me to be checking tem out on the way home.
Despite being billed for a half nine start, the Oh Sees seemed ready to go a good fifteen minutes early and once everyone was set they started, catching a lot of people by surprise as they sat around on the floor. With all four members at the front of the stage, and the dual drumming of Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone immediately filled the large room with a huge and mesmerising noise. The sparse set and synchronised beats kept your eyes, along with the energy on show and attention firmly on the band, and you can’t help but see how much they put into every second of the performance. Frontman John Dwyer contorted violently throughout the show as if he is trying to escape the entity that has trapped him as he thrashed away on his guitar. Similarly to the openers, the Oh Sees have a knack of combing that gnarly sonic assault with sa serious amount of melodies and hooks, and marry the two concepts brilliantly. With some new material from their upcoming album thrown in for good measure among a set of fan favourites, and the appearance of The Peacers (and former Oh Sees drummer) Mike Shoun for the final tracks of the evening, the crowd were treat to a glorious barrage of non stop fuzzed up garage noise that left everyone entertained and happy.
Two bands that I knew little or nothing about going into the venue, but left as a fan of both by the end of the night. There not much more you can ask from music.
Oh Sees setlist: ‘Plastic Plant’ – ‘Tidal Wave’ – ‘Dead Energy’ – ‘Toe Cutter / Thumb Buster’ – ‘Withered Hand’ – ‘The Dream’ – ‘The Static God’ – ‘Encrypted Bounce’ – ‘Sticky Hulks’ – ‘I Come From The Mountain’ – ‘Web’ – ‘Gelatinous Cube’ – ‘Contraption / Soul Desert’.