Nobody likes having to play first. Either the crowds not warmed up or hasn’t quite arrived yet, which is unfortunately the case tonight for Goodlife who have the job to kick off tonight’s showcase. This power trio don’t let the small turnout affect them though, still putting their all into a set of lo-fi, grungy material that brings to mind that summery early 90’s sound of the likes of Pavement.
More people pour through the door and the crowd begins to swell as Turrentine Jones take the wheel and bring the blues back to the Roadhouse. Breathing fresh life into the format, Turrentine Jones put on a real show, with blistering drums and Booker T. style Hammond organ providing the perfect backing to Aussie front man Julian Neville’s effortless voice. Enticing the audience towards the stage, there is soon a breakout of toe tapping and head moving to tracks such as ‘Slam The Door’, with it’s impressive extended end jam, winning over the applause of those here.
On with tonight’s main feature and after a technical hiccup involving a laptop, Vigilance Committee show us what they’re all about with opener ‘ILY’. Indie guitar hooks laced with electronics and catchy drumbeats get the room moving and the imagination racing. The songs have an originality and playfulness to their structure and range that, without knowing it, I’d been craving all evening. The voice of David Minnis is truly the standout of the night however, projecting a warmth and emotion that seems to wrap its arms round your ears.
It’s no secret that Manchester has been graced with some of the finest music in history and in Vigilance Committee, we seem to once again find ourselves with a true bunch of innovators on our doorstep that you don’t even have to head down to Heaton Park to see.
Words by Jonny Lewis