Tennis - Gulliver's, Manchester
On a Wednesday evening, in a small windowless room at the back of a Manchester pub, Denver duo Tennis find themselves entertaining what could be described as the 'chosen few'. Coming to the end of the promo for last year's Small Sound EP, and with a third album (produced The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney) in the wings, this is hopefully a warm up for something much bigger.
Ufazed by the small mid-week turnout, they cheerfully play their way through their latest material, making sure to find time for funky new single 'Cured of Youth'. A few songs in, Alaina Moore decides to break the ice with the most British thing she can think of: a joke about the weather. “We’re from Colorado. It only rains for 30 days a year there,” she says. “So far it’s rained every day we’ve been in the UK and now we know what that does to my hair!”
Their surf pop melodies may hardly evoke Manchester but Moore’s soaring vocals paired with Patrick Riley’s soft, hazy guitar, make for a relaxed atmosphere. Their attention to detail is obvious, but it does means sacrificing a little stage presence as they concentrate on the music. There are a few screams for the opening bars of 'Origins' and as the short but sweet set comes to an end, it becomes apparent that the group are somewhat trapped on the stage. They say they’ll go straight into an encore to save the embarrassment of hiding behind the curtains and hoping to be cheered for.
Tennis clearly have a small, but dedicated fan base who have a better sense than most as to this husband and wife duo's particular charms. Game, set and match to Moore and Riley.