Sound of Guns - HMV Ritz Manchester
Liverpool rockers Sound of Guns have a bit of an uneasy relationship with Manchester. Maybe it's that age-old rivalry between these two mighty cities that is hard to shake, or maybe the difficulty of gaining a foothold with the hard to please Mancs. With the Manchester mantra of "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere....", if you don't, well....
SoG don't come this way too often, and usually it is in the guise of support act. Hailed as heroes in their hometown, the spark has been a bit slower to ignite over here, not helped by frequently leaving Manchester out of their headline tours. Yet when they do grace us with their presence it is always well worth it, for as a live act SoG are pretty exceptional.
Having opened for tonight's headliners The View before, winning the normally partisan crowd over was somewhat easier. Their short but sweet set is met with riotous enthusiasm, the crowd singing lustily along to old favourites such as 'Architects' and 'Alcatraz' from debut album What Came From Fire as well as new stuff 'Sometimes' and 'Silicon' from their latest offering Angels and Enemies.
Once again it is daredevil vocalist Andy Metcalfe who is the focal point. As anyone knows from seeing them live, Metcalfe spends more time in the crowd than singing to them. Risking life and limb by climbing monitors or hurling himself into the audience, his performance is always breathtaking (and at times frightening).
Whether the band like it or not, conquering Manchester is a must - however tough it may be. With every visit they win over more people seduced by their electric and heartfelt sets, the band standing shoulder to shoulder like outlaws prepared to win the fight or go down in flames trying. Let's hope they come back soon and finish what they've started.