LIVE: Slaves @ Manchester Academy

WORDS BY DARYL GORMAN       PHOTOS BY ZACK HOUGH

Coming off from the highs of releasing their third studio album ‘Acts of Fear and Love’, with several sold-out dates for the UK tour, Slaves are an unstoppable force. Needless to say, this was definitely one gig that we did not want to miss out on. Made even better by having the legendary duo joined by the enigmatic punk trio and good friends, Lady Bird. They also happen to be signed to Slaves’ own label Girl Fight Records.

 

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last night was mad what a gig what a band

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Arriving at the venue, we settled on the balcony overlooking the sold-out Manchester Academy, just in time to hear the feel-good punk banger, ‘Spoons’ from the support act. The crowd were living for them. It’s safe to say that Lady Bird gained a few hundred more fans that night. If you are one of them, you’re in luck, they’re headlining their first ever tour in April, playing at the Soup Kitchen in Manchester (you can catch me there, right at the front. I will NOT be missing any of that set).

Have you ever wondered how quickly a crowd can go from moshing to high energy bouncy punk stylings to singing along word-for-word to ‘Wannabe’? I have, and now know it’s approximately 5 seconds. Other highlights from the intermission include watching the packed-out crowds perfectly dancing along to ‘Cha-Cha Slide’, I for one, have never seen anything quite like it.

There’s not many bands who perfectly entrance a sold out venue quite the way that Slaves do, which is even more magical when you remember that there are only two of them. Yet, every single person in the sold-out venue is fully mystified by them, singing along to every word. Walking onto the stage to the Smash? 1991 hit ‘We Like to Party! (The Vengabus)’, the Kentish duo (don’t tell them they’re from London…) then proceeded to shut down the Manchester Academy with their cover of Skepta’s 2016 hit ‘Shutdown’. They have full control over everyone watching them, which is about as incredible as any gig gets.

Playing a myriad of songs from their albums, perfectly portraying their British punk roots mixed in with some of their well-known bluesy garage riffs. Half way through their set comes ‘Cheer Up London’ from their debut album ‘Are You Satisfied?’ Enthusiatically introduced by Isaac as he reminds the crowd that “We aren’t from fucking London, we’re from the garden of England, and proudly so”. In that moment, everyone is from the Kent. They close their set with the massive banger ‘The Hunter’. They may only be a two piece band, but by the end of the gig, we are all slaves.

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