Review and photography by Jason Broadhurst.
Hot off the back of their third release ‘Simple Forms’ New Zealand band The Naked & Famous return to Manchester after a four year absence, and the crowd have come in their numbers selling out the Manchester Academy.
The support tonight comes from SHELLS, a small act from the UK. Having released their debut 4 song EP ‘Shapes’ in December they are keen to show to fans who arrived early just what they can do.
Opening with a double hit of brand new material is always a tricky thing to do but with ‘The Water Beneath You’ and ‘Higher’ The Naked & Famous have two great songs and it paid off with fans singing it word for word. However it isn’t long until they return to their first album treating fans to ‘All Of This’ and ‘Punching In A Dream’ very early in the set.
Sandwiched in-between a couple of mellower numbers is an underrated and one of my personal favourites off their second album, ‘I Kill Giants’ which gets the crowd moving. The band make short work of a few more songs before singer Alisa Xayalith and guitarist Thom Powers switch vocals on fan favourite ‘Girls Like You’ . This leaves Alisa to take more of a backseat and support in the chorus generating great harmonies that sound even better live than on the record.
The band return for a 2 song encore, firstly the fitting ‘Last Forever’ and the slow paced ‘Rotten’ bringing the night to a close. Everybody in attendance tonight will have enjoyed the setlist, a nice mix of all three albums including all the big hits and they certainly proved they are a great live band. After 4 years away from the UK, fans will be hoping the band return sooner rather later next time and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it was in bigger venues.
The Water Beneath You
Higher All of This
Punching in a Dream
I Kill Giants
Losing Our Control
Hearts Like Ours
Girls Like You