Words + Photos by Frank Ralph

Lights shone in Manchester as they played their first show of the year at the historic Night and Day Cafe – a venue I’d hazard a guess was chosen for it’s incredibly close proximity to Manchester’s Forbidden Planet comic book store (they are literally opposite each other).

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The link between Lights music and comic books are intrinsic with the Skin & Earth comic series that she has written and produced and album of the same name influencing and working alongside each other.

With a spot at Slam Dunk Festival on Bank Holiday weekend to build up to it was a great opportunity for them to blow off any cobwebs and get match fit for the occasion. Bar a couple of first night hiccups you wouldn’t think they needed to.

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The opening trio of songs that included Savage and Fight Club sound massive in such a tiny venue. With her hair flailing majestically all over the place Lights was a ball of energy getting up close and personal with the fans in the first few rows. Fans that are insanely fanatical about their idol and sing along all night long at the top of their lungs.

A great version of The Cardigans’ Love Fool was followed with a couple of acoustic numbers and gave in insight into what the new acoustic version of the album might sound like. Peace Sign sounded great in this format and ‘In the disorder you are the peace sign’ is a beautiful lyric. Lost Girls is also a highlight and Lights voice gives you goosebumps.

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The biggest surprise of the night for me though was the version of Cher’s Believe that they did. With a stripped back and slowed down feel, and minus the auto-tune effects of the original, the words have much more gravitas to them and the whole song is given a much more impactful makeover.

This was an incredible show and the amount of mutual love emanating from the stage and the crowd made for a great euphoric feeling in the room.

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If you’re lucky enough to be going to Slam Dunk make sure you check them out, otherwise let’s all keep our fingers crossed that they come back very very soon for some more magical moments.

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