Not even a week after returning from WGT in Leipzig, I was already off to the next thing. As I’ve said before, I’m not one to stand still. This time round, I made my way to Manchester to celebrate AnalogueTrash’s 10th Birthday. For those of you unaware, AnalogueTrash started it’s life as an alternative electronic club night back in 2009. In late 2013, it was launched as an independent record label, with the goal of supporting grass-roots music, and being more artist-focused. Since then, they’ve been going strong, and to mark this occasion, they put on a show at The Bread Shed in their home city, that included performances from some of their finest artists.
Whilst Vieon was there, there was no performance, but instead DJ sets between each act, courtesy of Matt Wild himself. Being a man of taste, I found the selection and range of music to be pretty good, and did notice some people dancing to it too. It’s was nice to have a bit of ambience between artists, and it helped keep the mood lively throughout the course of the day.
Factory Acts were the first to kick-off the live portion of the event, and they were a great choice too. Their sound created a rich atmosphere, feeling more ambient in tone, yet with a beat that was still quite danceable. The combo of post-punk and electronic elements worked together extremely well, and there was nothing that was too overpowering in the mix. If I only had one complaint, it would be that the duo felt a bit static, but with so much going on, and so much focus required for the music, it was easy to see why.
Next up, all the way from San Francisco, were The Cowls. Normally, this act consists of a trio when performing live, but this show saw frontman Damion Jurrens taking the reins by himself. I found this set to be extremely impressive, especially considering the amount of work he had to do at once (vocals, keyboard and guitar.) A combination of 80’s electronic elements, with a hint of Indie rock, this went down extremely well. He didn’t miss a beat, although did end up accidentally performing a new track. This wasn’t to any detriment, however, and it ended up being one of my favourites of his set.
Stocksnskins took to the stage next. Musically, they’re quite different from most artists you’d find. Instrumentally, it’s very electronic, with a heavy emphasis on basslines, which is always a pleasing sound, especially in a live setting. Frontman Ade doesn’t deliver vocals in a typical fashion, but recites them as beat poetry. This not only makes it feel very unique, but it also makes the whole experience feel a lot more like a full on performance. It might as well be interpreted as an art-piece. I certainly found myself enthralled by them, and the powerful lyrics were really driven home in this style. It was a very interesting change of pace.
Back to something more traditional, but still awesome, Nature of Wires followed. Whilst there were only two members delivering the beats for this set, they still managed to cook up an absolute storm. I may have seen them before a few times, but this in particular is the best I’ve seen them. It was an extremely energetic show, and had a fantastic selection of songs that played to their strengths. These were mostly taken from their forthcoming album, Modus. Although considering the gestation period for this record, a lot of tracks still went back as far as 30 years ago! Still, these songs were incredibly lively, and included remix versions of “Time Has Come” from Advance and “Madame Serena” from Leaether Strip. Interesting choices, and great ones too, as they kept the pace up.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more energetic, Spray came along and continued the vibrant atmosphere. Their music was much more in the vein of pop than the other acts so far, with a strong hint of 80’s to it. This was a great change in mood, and helped to mix things up a bit. I had a fantastic time during this set, they had a great vibe, making their music extremely fun. Although considering their calibre, formerly being members of the Cuban Boys, it’s clear to see why they were so good. All this experience and expertise shone through throughout their time on stage, proving them as experts of their craft.
It was time for something a bit darker next, with St Lucifer. Riding off their latest release, the superb new EP Ultra/Violence, it was clear to see that they were in top form. Their gritty punk aesthetics, along with funky electro hooks feel like the perfect combination when performed live, and this sound definitely did not disappoint on this occasion. Frontman David Fox had a strong communication with the crowd too, you could really feel a connection. They blasted through their singles with a great finesse, at times feeling more melodic, at others much much heavier. There was even an excellent guest appearance from Still Forever’s Amy Griffiths. They’re a band that have lost members since their inception and have struggled to the point where others would’ve just given up. Yet they soldiered on, and have become stronger than ever. This show truly was a testament to that.
Finally, after a heart-warming gathering of the entire AnalogueTrash crew that were present, Def Neon commenced their set. It’s no secret that I absolutely love their music, and this performance didn’t chance that. If anything, it did more to solidify my love for it! From start to finish, it was an absolute blast, and the duo were truly at their best. The opener of “High Hopes” was apt in it’s optimistic tone, and very much suited the occasion, whilst the addition of mighty tracks like “Rotoscope” and “Nightvision” were as spellbinding as ever. Yet again, they played newer tracks, from the upcoming second record, such as “Just Do It” and “Control”, as well as a brand new track, which was just as stunning. I’m honestly at fever-pitch waiting for this one, I have complete confidence that it’ll blow me away, if the live renditions are anything to go by! It was electrifying throughout, and an absolute joy to be present for. The perfect way to end the night!
If there is one thing to take away from this event, it’s that AnalogueTrash show no signs of slowing down any time soon. The amount of skilled and talented artists that were present at this celebration just goes to show that this label is on a level of it’s own. I was dazzled by every single act that went up to the stage. Not only that, but there was also a huge diversity on display too, bearing in mind that the line-up on this occasion makes up for a third of their total signed artists. It’s truly impressive, proving that showrunners Adrian Brian Thompson and Mark Buckley have a clear hold on what their doing, and that they truly care for these artists, as well as the music they create. Happy birthday AnalogueTrash, and here’s to the next 10 years, as well as the many, many more that will surely follow after that…