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Scruffy Bear

LIVE: FREE VIBES x SABOTAGE –
Dylan Cartlidge, Slowhandclap,
Scruffy Bear, Octopus | 29.08.18

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER        PHOTOS BY MANC WANDERER

Following on from the success of the debut Sabotage Festival back in April, the gig promoter has continued to conquer Manchester with another enviable lineup. Wednesday 29th August was a partnership with Free Vibes – another promoter set to ignite new artists. Now a classic amongst those in the know, FV is a monthly slot at Band On The Wall that pulls together a host of talented new acts and sets them up on one of the city’s most renowned stages.

Free Vibes x Sabotage is an ideal pairing that brought together an amalgamation of likeminded folk interested in the movements of the new waves in music. Setting the scene on the evening were self-proclaimed ‘Tentacle Rock’ act Octopus with their infectious shoe gazer sound that oozes a level of experience beyond their years. Britpop at it’s finest and then some, Octopus welcomed the fast-filling main room of Band On The Wall with open arms.

Following on and keeping up the pace – if not heightening it – psychedelia hits and Scruffy Bear appear. Theirs is a sound which is equally transcendent of their years but in a different manner. It’s the melodies themselves, the riffs and hooks with their psychedelic haze. Blues and psych merge together entangled in a rock n roll shell, equipped with a mesmerising stage presence that can’t not catch your attention.

Bringing the outright noise are SlowHandClap poised and ready to go just ahead of the headliner. If you’re fortunate enough to have seen them yourself, you’ll know they’re not a band to be reckoned with. Raw energy and passion erupts from the trio for a mystifying performance reminiscent of fuzzy early Nirvana gig videos. If you’re a Dinosaur Jr fan, keep your finger on the pulse with SlowHandClap – you’re in for a treat.

Last but certainly never least, alternative rapper Dylan Cartildge hosts as the headliner. He’s making waves in his field, with Huw Stephens a notable fan, as well as having had the famed musician Jamie T accompany him on hit track ‘Up & Upside Down’. Notably Dylan is a multiple instrument player – paired with his charismatic stage presence it makes for a live set that hums with an easy solace. His vocals echo, along with that of his backing singer, to a completely entertained Band On The Wall that’s singing every word back to him. He’s just done Reading and Leeds and you can be sure there’ll be no stopping him soon.

Want to see more? You’re in luck. The next Sabotage curated gig takes place at The Castle Hotel on Oldham Street, Saturday 29th September. It’ll be the first headline set from Manchester favourites La Mode, hot off the heels of their recent EP release which fuses modern indie with 60s rock in an eclectic manner that’s not often found. Oxford-based Self Help present their twist of garage and punk that cuts an original figure, whilst the fresh and fledgling Thin-Skinned who only have one track released are set to introduce themselves. Tickets are only available on the door and at just £5 a pop, we’ll meet you at The Castle.

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