Band Of Horses - Manchester Academy
What better way to spend a cold, wet miserable Tuesday than bathing in the sunny sounds of South Carolina's Band Of Horses? The giddy crowd at the sold-out Manchester Academy welcomed the band with cheers and rousing applause as they jumped straight in with 'NW Apt' from their excellent third album Infinite Arms. Lead vocalist Ben Bridewell made up for his rather taciturn bandmates with his indefatigable good humour and charm; a grinning, bearded, tattooed old folky in Cuban heels. "How y'all doing? Let's party!" And party we certainly did.
Amidst the backdrop of images of the American Southeast projected onto a screen behind them, the band rolled through their impressive catalogue of tunes taken predominantly from the new effort and 2007's Cease To Begin. The chiming 'Islands on the Coast' from Cease.. and 'Laredo' from the new one kept the pace going, the latter showing off the beautiful harmonies of Bridewell and keyboardist/ guitarist Ryan Monroe.
Old crowd-pleasers were not wanting. The exquisite 'Is There A Ghost' and 'No One's Gonna Love You' brought cheers of delight from the crowd. Other highlights were latest single 'Dilly' and the lullaby-like 'Evening Kitchen' sung by Bridwell and guitarist Rob Hampton.
No, impossible to let the dark gloomy Manchester winter get to you when you are treated to Bridewell's bluebird of happiness vocals. Not a ghost of chance.
Setlist :NW Apt. / Islands On The Coast / The General Specific / Laredo / The Great Salt Lake / Is There A Ghost? / Marry Song / Dirty Work / Factory / The End's Not Near / No One's Gonna Love You / The First Song / Cigarettes and Wedding Bands / Ode To LRC / Compliments / Older / Funeral / Evening Kitchen Monsters // Your Feet / Detlef Schrempf