IMAGES BY AND WORDS BY DESH KAPUR
Driving Guitar Riffs, Pounding Drums And Pumping Bass And I Can Almost Hear The Windows Rattling
It was a quick drive for me to Blue Sky Café in Bangor, North Wales to check out Millie Manders and The Shutup. I am very familiar with Blue Sky Café; great food and even better beer, but I was unfamiliar and was quite surprised to see it was now a venue as well… awesome stuff. Let’s hope it get support from the locals, it will be great to have a new venue on the circuit.
Firstly, Blue Sky Café is small, only fitting around 70 people in for a sell-out. There is no stage, the place is a little dark and the band were bathed in a blue low light for the whole of the show, apparently a DJ had blown out the lighting rig!
Anyway, due to the support band’s van breaking down on the way from Brighton, and arriving rather late, Millie Manders had to go on first, which suited her fine, as in Millie’s own words “they were going to get pissed with the punters and watch the support band”.
To be honest, there wasn’t a big crowd for this gig, which is a shame because Millie Manders and The Shutup are a very good band. I have had the pleasure of reviewing their latest release and was very impressed.
Opening the evening with ‘Right To Live’ and ‘Obsession Transgression’, they soon had the audience on their feet and at the front of the stage.
MMATSU are hard mix of Punk Rock (reminding me of the Runaways), overtones of SKA, and rock, and Millie can sing with a voice very reminiscent of Pink, to be honest, except when she lets out her Slipknot guttural scream.
Their live set is full of energy, and I could imagine this set in a bigger venue, with a full room and it would be something to behold. Their songs feel urgent and uncompromising; songs about breaking up, getting together, falling apart, mental health with a good dose of angry social commentary, thrown in for good measure.
Driving guitar riffs, pounding drums and pumping bass and I can almost hear the windows rattling. Millie’s voice cuts through with ease, sounding urgent and intense. When she stares at you it’s almost unnerving. Songs like “Not Okay” are ska-influenced and kicking into punchy pop punky-ness, almost reminiscent of an early “No Doubt” record or even Blink 182, when they were good. Then they play “Silent Screams”, which fires at you like bullets from a gun. “Bitter” throws a curve ball; it gets heavy, not Metallica heavy, but heavy in the way Rage Against The Machine get heavy.
As the night draws to the end, everyone here seems to have had the best time and I think what stands out for me the most, other than the very, very good song-writing and Millie’s big, big voice, is that I can make all the comparisons I want, but Millie Manders and The Shutup have created their own thing here. Their witches brew of all their influences have produced a sound and band that is uniquely theirs, which makes me think that we have not heard the last of Millie Manders or The Shutup, not by a long shot.
1/ RIGH TO LIFE
2/ OBSESSION TRANSGRESSION
4/ YOUR STORY
5/ BROKEN RECORD
6/ HERE WE GO AGAIN
8/ POOR MANS SHOW
9/ SWEET MELODY
10/ NOT OK
12/ SILENT SCREAMS
14/ GLITTER MIX
15/ ONE THAT GOT AWAY
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