The New Pornographers Plus Guests - Gorilla, Manchester, Dec 1st
August 19, 2015
With the venue of tonights’ show having been upgraded from The Deaf Institute to Gorilla, by the time Californian trio Mini Mansions take to the stage a little after 8, the venue is a good half full of patrons waiting to be entertained as an illuminated sign on the back wall informs everyone of who is about to set foot before them. It is a shame therefore that the set that follows is anything far from truly special. Instead, the vocals are lost over the pounding of Michael’s drums and, with the way he moves around on such a small space, bassist Zach, although perhaps not deliberately, ensures most of the attention falls on him. There is no doubt, judging from the press the band have gotten in recent months, that their star is on the rise, but tonight they really do struggle. By the time their time us up they’ve certainly won over a few people, but they certainly don’t get the reaction they surely hoped for.
The New Pornographers have been in the business since 1999 and from the moment they appear, they receive a warm welcome. As a seven piece, they struggle to fit comfortably within the space on offer to them, but that doesn’t stop them performing well as a group, Kathryn from the band in particular wearing a smile that never appears to falter. With a set with a strong country-pop vibe to it, not everyone is familiar or content with what they’re watching, but no-one seems to mind. The venue’s sound system does affect the band however and the keyboards on ‘Use It’ are all but completely drowned out by the overpowering bass. Nineteen songs in, as the set draws to an end and with the audience thoroughly enjoying themselves especially during ‘Mass Romantic’, they proceed to delight their audience with a three song encore, closing out the night with ‘The Bleeding Heart Show’ making for a great end to an intriguing, rather entertaining evening.