Loserpalooza, Part two, Manchester : The Review

Mention the word “Loserpalooza” and the usual response from the listener is a smile, whether it be from the ironic celebration of being s loser or because it has an implied sense of fun. Fun always wins.

Being split between Aatma and Peer Hat only means that you have to walk up a flight if stairs to move between the two performance areas located in the same venue.  The set up for the second iteration of Loserpalooza is that each band/act play a 20 minute set that is both long enough to provide a sampler of their musical wares and allow the listener to decide if they want to move on. With stalwarts such as Matty on the mixing desks, things moved along well and to time.

So if the idea of two members of the audience dressing up, one as a snail and the other as a pepper pot to dance along to a band called “Salt the Snail” appeals to you then you should have been here.  Or maybe you were at the event that sold out in advance.
Possibly the Crapsons (feat Markey on bass/vocals  & Gilbert on drums/vocals), hailing from Liverpool but appreciating the best dressed people in Wythenshawe may also tickle your funny bone in a Half Man Half Biscuit fashion.
Did I really hear the vocalist from Mr. Ted drop the couplet “Don’t stop believing/Tastes like semen”? It may be in the video.

Believing is seeing and seeing a half size mannequin at the front of that stage was a bit disconcerting. This element of “What’s going on here”  was only added to when Craig Twigg the lead vocalist of the Infants and one of the organisers of the festival, then sat alongside the mannequin and offered “him” a drink.   Well he probably needed it to get in the mood for some brutal, intense rock that followed

“We are Sla,” announced the guitarist with the Mancunian based 3 pieces “and we don’t do vocals”.  They are the first band I’ve caught today with a female member, and it is none other than the exemplary drummer Lianne (Jackie O, Breaking Colts etc.) who is playing with a respected former member of Sleepwalker for only their second gig  Whilst the 3 piece- have this set of brooding, sometimes sparse, songs to perform, lyrics can wait.

Aeris Houlihan aka Witch of the East started her set sat down at the microphone, strumming a guitar, luring those not familiar to her catalogue, me, into thinking this set would be a subtle and intimate affair. Those misconceptions were dismissed as she was joined by a drummer and then proceeded to stand on the drum kit.  Full on Led Zep style rock, grunge, sounds then flood from the stage.  As a trans person in the music industry, when she pronounces, or demands, ” When you fxxx me” it has many interpretations on her own experiences.

As it’s a lovely day Busk with us have decided to take their interactive style of percussion outside. So in the alleyway outside the Peer Hat, there are a set of drums, behind which a bloke in a body hugging lycra onesie that extends up to cover his face, is reeling off samba type beats. Two other similarly attired gents are bringing out pans and drum sticks to encourage others to hit an object, kegs, walls, tom toms, and swell the intensity.  It’s amazing how musical the toilets at the Peer Hat can be made to sound.

Glove describe themselves as “the sonic alignment of artists Hannah Sloman aka “Slosilver” and Stephanie Finegan”.  One thing they have in common with every other artist on this roster is that they are not backwards at coming forward.  From the off, the pair were off the stage and into the packed venue, guitar and microphone cables trailing behind them but the raw sounds they create being way out in front on them.  Finegan leads with the vocals, at times making John Cooper Clarke seem a bit slow.  “I blind myself with a ministry of words” she screams as words tumble from her mouth and into her stories.  

In the crowd to witness the final band of this extravagant selection is a bloke wearing a belt that flashes “Hands off Gretel” .  I do hope he is referring to the band rather than having a strange name for an appendage. Fronted by Lauren Tate, the band are all intensity and fiery tunes that have hook lines a plenty.  Whilst Lauren maybe stage centre it is Sean Bon on guitar belting out  some rich sounds along with Becky Baldwin on bass & Sam Hobbins (drums) forming a platform for Lauren to perform to.  The fast/slow/fast song construction hints at “Hole” type grunge, allowing Tate to layer on her own tales of being and “outsider”.  There is enough energy left in the crowd to dance, sing and mosh to a band for which the momentum upwards is rapidly growing

Words By Ged Camera