Hot Club de Paris - The Deaf Institute, Manchester (15/02/2010)

Clare Halls | Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hot Club de Paris - The Deaf Institute, Manchester (15/02/2010)

Among the paradoxical cockatoo decor and oversized disco ball that fill the music hall of Manchester's Deaf Institute, Trojan Horse and their equally incompatible range of members start the evening with loosely structured alternative rock.

From dreary instrumental drones to chants of "Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!" their brand of bi-polar pirate screamo is puzzling at best and last song of the set, 'Mr Engle Says' shows off their musical insights.

Introducing themselves with a heartfelt passage of post-rock goodness, Spokes and their assembly of experimental undertones liven up the room as more people make their way to the front of the stage.

The audience warm almost immediately to the poignant flow of sounds reminiscent of Arcade Fire and, at times, Modest Mouse. Obscure section and tempo changes, an ensemble so clearly passionate about what they do and a superbly sharp drummer will give Spokes the edge they need over other comparable bands.

Headliners Hot Club De Paris are musically tight, hysterical and charming - in a scouser kind of way. They take a while to warm up - perhaps due to the fact that family members were in the audience - but once they get away with the punchy repetitive pockets of sound the crowd are waiting for, the band are unstoppable.

Manchester is really in for a treat as the three of them step away from their instruments and microphones mid set and line up at the front of the stage. They perform a magical a capella version of 'Bonded By Blood (A Song For Two Brothers)', which is executed so flawlessly that it almost seems like the audience needed to pause for a split second just to take in the surprise before applauding.

Playing crowd favourites 'Dance a Ragged Dance' and 'Everythingeverythingeverything' mixed in with plenty of new material suits Hot Club De Paris' short but sweet slant and keeps their cheeky tone exciting. Real, honest lyrics coupled with the frank approach to songwriting ensures this band of brothers (and one mutual friend) will stay gripping for as long as they intend to.

Rating: 3/5