The Mantells: ‘How To Say It EP’ Launch night review: 8/8/14 The Castle Hotel

The Mantells: ‘How To Say It EP’ Launch
The Castle Hotel 8/8/14
The Mantells, Black Sonic Revolver, The Bliss, Hacketts

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Not many gigs these days are free entry. Not many gigs have a stellar line up. Not many gigs combine the two but Friday gone at The Castle Hotel we were treated to both in an amazing evening of live music.

The star turn of the evening and the reason we were all there was the launch of the debut EP from the new, fresh and exciting The Mantells.

The night itself was a resounding success with 4 superb bands showcasing why Manchester is still the hotbed of music. We had Hacketts and their first ever live show, The Bliss (whom I should add are from Lincolnshire and travelled here for the show) showing us why they are future stars, Black Sonic Revolver wowing us with their mesmerizing live show and the headliners The Mantells unveiled their debut EP to great aplomb.

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Hacketts opened the night with their inaugural live show. To say it was the bands debut they looked assured and had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Their set demonstrated why the band should have a bright future. It featured songs of their own which had an early Arctic Monkeys vibe and a terrific cover of Chris Malinchak’s ‘So Good To Me’. Not many first timers can boast that they had a singalong at their first show but, set closer and general future anthem ‘Black Bean’ had a hardcore select singing to every line and shouting for it from song 1. A band with a real future one feels and featuring The Mantells drummer Lewis who can brag about opening and closing his night!

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The Bliss were up next and the Lincolnshire lads showed us just why they have a huge future in the music game. In a set assorted with their own originals and some sublime covers, The Bliss really shone as an upcoming band. Looking AND sounding every bit the part, The Bliss in their own songs showed a real talent for writing and in their cover versions, ‘Rearrange’ Miles Kane, ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ The Courteeners, ‘Lightning Bolt’ Jake Bugg, ‘Rango’ Catfish and the Bottlemen and ‘A Certain Romance’ Arctic Monkeys showed the know the tunes to whip up a crowd. I really hope this band makes the trip to Manchester again and should they do so, I’ll be there, front and center.

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From the offset I knew we were in for a treat from the start of Black Sonic Revolver setting up just by the pure number of effect pedals the band set up and it lived up to expectation. I’ve heard and read a lot about what a Black Sonic Revolver live show is like and this show was no different. It was energetic, powerful and captivating. Front man Leon knows how to work a crowd (and a guitar) and his stage presence shows no boundaries. He was witty and endearing, full of retorts and banter with the crowd and I think all in attendance were drawn in by his likeability. The thing that struck me most about Black Sonic Revolver was the passion. It seemed like the lads were in it for the music and the love of the music alone. Putting a tin down at the front full of CD’s and allowing the punters to pay what they want, if at all, was a great touch and showed that they just want people to hear and enjoy BSR. The music itself was a whir of incredible effects and fury and the band seemed slick and polished, creating a memorable set that left me wanting more and I hope to catch the lads again VERY soon.

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The piece de resistance of the evening was, of course, The Mantells and they didn’t let us down. The room was hot, sweaty and hammered with a crowd anticipating The Mantells and they came, they saw and they conquered. The Mantells in Tom, Lewis and Dale have a tight outfit, a band that boasts 3 excellent musicians and in ‘How To Say It’ EP the band have a solid debut demonstrating the talents and potential of the trio. The bands repertoire allows the quality of The Mantells to shine through, Toms vocals are a delight and his guitar riffs melodic, Dales bass rumbles you in to a fever and Lewis provides the tight drumming that keeps The Mantells steady, the 3 of them also combine to create a quality set of harmonies. The setlist consisted of The Mantells ‘How To Say It’ EP (‘How To Say It’, ‘Parallel Lives’, ‘Key To The City’ and ‘Able Bodied’) and 3 tracks from Toms solo EP (‘Space To Rent’, ‘Stuck In Shudehill’ and ‘Tipsy’), which sounded great performed as the full band, with ‘The Escape’ ( A proper catchy little number) and a “secret mystery cover” of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Lets Get It On’ which the lads, somehow, made to sound like a Mantells original. The Mantells, based on the events of the night and the quality of the EP, are on a trajectory that should see them become an insanely successful band. They have the likeability, the talent, the (start of a) super back catalogue and the dedicated following which no doubt will, in time, grow and grow.

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All in all the evening was a resounding success, the launch of an amazing EP, 4 top bands, a great venue and free entry equaled an amazing night and the beginning of an amazing journey for The Mantells and it’s one I can’t wait to be a part of!

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