White Hills Live: The Deaf Institute, Manchester 21-10-13

Pre-rocked Manchester
Pre-rocked Manchester

So here I am, pissed off to hell after a fraught time locating the legendary station car park of Stockport*, wet through after a downpour, shattered on a Monday night after work and nerves jangling after wandering past the road with the venue on twice, not enjoying the support band GNOD and I look out at the gigantic mirrorball and think to myself, ‘this better be bloody good’.

I loved the venue by the way, it was my first time at Manchester’s The Deaf Institute and it’s truly ace, an upstairs wooden music hall, capacity about 200(?) with a bar along one edge, steps at the back to sit on, a balcony upstairs, a high stage and crazy wallpaper over the domed ceiling.  It is definitely very, very cool indeed.  It’s also full of an expectant crowd eager to see White Hills on their second trip to these shores in 6 months.  Ego Sensation is on merch duty again, but I don’t bother her this time and Dave W is flitting around in, as usual, an incredibly natty shirt and great, great flashy black and white leather shoes – given that Ego is wearing a sort of bright red, one-piece hotpants and sparkly collar cum-Santa suit number** – this is one well turned out band.  The drummer, and I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know if it was Antrohny or Nick Name, is dressed all in black, but that’s drummers for you.

White Hills Live 02

After a bit of fiddling about they take the stage and Wallop! White Hills come out of the traps swinging.  The bulk of the set is taken from this year’s So You Are… So You’ll Be LP.  Second track in was the mighty ‘In Your Room’, which got most of us who were politely nodding our heads, head banging.  White Hills really, really played heavy this time around and large chunks of the show sounded a lot like a 21st century space Sabbath, or a Hawkwind who’d really got their shit together.  It was just stone-cold brilliant from the first crashing chords to the last, but particular highlights for me were, ‘So You Are…So You’ll Be’, which was Stooge-like live and the brilliant, trancey ‘Internal Monologue’.  My favourites, ‘HP-1’ and ‘Pads of Light’ were in there along with the guitar freak-out ‘Rare Upon This earth’.

White Hills Live 06

What struck me seeing them this time around was just how great the three of them are musically, they are also the loudest trio I think I’ve ever seen live.  The drummer was just amazingly good, possibly one of the best I’ve seen yet.  Dave W, sporting less eyeliner than last time out, is a real psych-rock guitar hero throwing every shape you can imagine into the bargain too, whilst soloing like his very soul depended upon it.  Ego plays a mean bass, adds some great sneering vocals and conjures up most of the FX on the spacier tracks.

White Hills Live 03

I need not have worried last night White Hills took my bad mood and my stress, threw it back at me with their sheer volume and lifted me up on high, making even getting soaked again on the way home totally worthwhile.  Just what I needed to sustain me today at work after 4 1/2 hours sleep,  but if that’s the price to pay for being a Monday night rocker, then pay it I shall.  Gladly.

See you again in another six months White Hills!

Ego conjuring up spacey noises
Ego conjuring up spacey noises

273 Down (still).

White Hills Live 05

*said to appear once every 3 years to a chosen one who is both pure of heart and unsweaty of foot; just turn left after the lost city of Atlantis, if you find yourself in El Dorado you’ve gone too far.

**jeez I clearly have a gift and should turn 1537 into a fashion blog, right now!

14 thoughts on “White Hills Live: The Deaf Institute, Manchester 21-10-13

  1. Excuse ME, but are you suggesting that Hawkwind’s shit is not together??? Clearly you are confusing orchestrated confusion for ineptitude. Incense sticks at dawn, you bounder! And cancel my subscription to the architecture and morality blog too. Hurrumph!

    1. Whoa, whoa! I’d forgotten that you colonial cads were all so combustible. Hawkwind’s shit was amongst the best rock shit ever assembled, reassembled and disseminated on vinyl; but much as I love huge tranches of their chaotic shit, vast swathes of their back catalogue could do with being more together and a lot of the later bits could do with being a lot less together. So maybe I could modify what i said along the lines of ‘Hawkwind with their shit together to just the right extent’ ? Gor, blimey!

  2. This sounds like an amazing show. Love to hear it was amazingly heavy, too. I think today may be a White Hill kind of day. Overcast, windy, brisk, light rain…yep , a White Hills day indeed.

    Btw, Dave W holds a slight resemblance to Ronnie James Dio. Just a little.

      1. Well, I guess I’ll also go on record as saying Ego Sensation has some amazing legs. I can’t stop staring at them, to be honest.

        “Don’t Be Afraid” is pouring out of my computer speakers here at work and it’s making this dark and gray October day that much more special.

  3. “**jeez I clearly have a gift and should turn 1537 into a fashion blog, right now!”

    I’m looking for a new pair of men’s dress shoes. Something I can wear to the company Christmas dinner, but can hold up to frequent walks from car to door in Canadian snow. What do you suggest? I want to be current, but not too much so.

    1. I find that if you apply black shoe polish to any pair of espadrilles, or deck shoes then you can pass them off, from a large distance, as dress shoes and yet retain their comfortable, breathable qualities. Next!

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