“The way the band seamlessly fly through their set reignites a flaming love for guitar music…”
The drummer is stuck on a bus somewhere on route from Manchester, he’s bringing the snare drum. Gorgeous Bully, who will play as a three-piece a little later, take to the stage solo and push on with some gloriously fuzzy bedroom-pop numbers ripping through his back catalogue of releases. It’s unexpected and personal. A few songs in and we take a short intermission, such as they do traditionally in Spanish cinema, as the full band set up.
Opening proceedings on the night was llana, an improvised lo-fi-noise trio with piercing moments of country-flavoured harmonies which cut through the veil of noise and create something quite unexpected and beautiful. Taking a beer bottle to the guitar and creating a screeching, nails on blackboard loop which could soundtrack a high tension scene from a b-movie horror flick, the band find their off-kilter groove and work in touching moments of haunting vocal harmony.
Viewfinder are next up, the project of Joel Burton and now playing as a tight-knit four-piece. Anyone familiar with Born Ticking, the excellent nine track record consisting of his home recordings, will know the vast range of influences he moulds within it, and the calm tension that builds with each number. Live, Viewfinder cut deep with their ability to channel the slow-burning charm of early Low, with an air of emotional release and conclusion with each step. But this is just one string to their bow, the band dip into something chirpier with Television-esque guitarwork and groove. It’s a set full of rumbling heartbreak and hope, a wrecking ball of emotion caged within each story.
Manchester’s Gorgeous Bully are set to release their new record Closure on Breakfast Records in November, they recently released Patience, a taster from their upcoming LP and took to the stage at Paper Dress with new offerings.
The band play quick-fire, fuzzy dream-pop. It’s tune after tune, and one of those shows where it’s just as fun if you don’t know the band’s back catalogue than if you do. The way the band seamlessly fly through their set reignites a flaming love for guitar music, a genre which music industry folk will tell you is dead. It’s alive and well, there is a certain psychy, distorted edge to the guitarplay on offer and a deeper thud to basslines and drums which offers a heavier feeling live. Lyrically the songs offer up a lot, self-depreciating stories of loss, love and everyday human thought. Just dip into Watching the World End and feel the raw clarity of The Cure in a pop moment, or Florida band Merchandise pouring their hearts out in a stuffy bedroom recording session. All signs point towards a fantastic upcoming LP.
By Karl Johnson