Sulpher + Resist @ The Academy 3, Manchester, UK – 27th July 2012

Posted by Bianca on Friday Jul 27, 2012 Under Metal, Rock

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While the world was watching the Queen and James Bond skydive into the London 2012 opening ceremony, I headed down Manchester’s deserted streets to the Academy 3 to catch Sulpher in action. A band consisting of members from The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Prodigy (and a few other bands) I was hoping to be seeing some consummate professionals rock the hell out of the room. The Academy 3 lent itself beautifully to this kind of gig. Small and shadowy with low ceilings and elaborate light shows it was almost an extra character taking part in the show, setting the tone for an evening of unapologetic hard and heavy rock.

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Manchester band Resist got off to a bit of a shaky start with one of their keyboards falling from its stand during the first song and a couple of minor sound issues but they recovered like pros to deliver a consistent and strong set. Most of the four piece’s repetoire featured up-tempo heavy songs but it was the one ballad they played that gave them a more interesting edge. As soon as they slowed things down they swung instantly from sounding fierce to haunting, the lead singer showcasing a previously hidden vulnerability in her voice. It was hard not to believe every lyric that escaped her mouth. Of the more upbeat tracks the standout was ‘Crush Me’, which managed to sum up the angst of lust both through its words and crashing drum beats.

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By the time headliners Sulpher started to play the small but attentive crowd had been warmed up nicely. The band wasted no time in kicking off their set, launching into their first song at full throttle. It was instantly evident that they were not playing around, these guys meant serious business. With Rob Holliday commanding the crowd, the band moved from defiant to angry within the strum of a chord. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of seeing Sulpher live is witnessing them experiment first hand. One song for example was 90% instrumental, with Holliday pre-warning the audience “this goes on for a while”. There aren’t that many bands these days that will just play music without the fear of losing people’s attention in the process. This band showed no fear, and no wonder with their background.

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It has to be said there is a certain sexual undertone to Sulpher and their music. It has a dark and dirty feel to it. As with Resist, Sulpher’s familiar terriotory is obviously loud, brash, heavy rock songs which are relentless in their pace and structure. But again I was more impressed when they stripped it back a little and delivered smoothly sung verses interspersed with atmopheric guitars and keyboards. It was at these moments that they proved they may have been loud but what they were creating wasn’t just noise.

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Sulpher play music that demands effort from everyone in the room. The band are ferocious on their part, I felt drained just watching them rip into their guitar strings and slam their drumsticks down with quite some force. This isn’t music for everyone’s taste but it creates a pulsing atmosphere in a small venue.

Most of all I definitely enjoyed the unpredictability of the evening. From falling keyboards to abrupt song endings you just never really knew what was coming next. What isn’t fun about that?

Gig review by Nic Jones
Gig Photos by Ian Dunn

One Response to “Sulpher + Resist @ The Academy 3, Manchester, UK – 27th July 2012”

  1. Review for Gig Junkies – Sulpher | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] Sulpher + Resist @ The Academy 3, Manchester, UK – 27th July 2012 […]

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