Last October, Blackpool quintet Boston Manor released their six track EP, Driftwood, and after great critical acclaim for it, the emo-hardcore band have taken off on tour this January with Moose Blood and Choir Vandals, stopping at Nottingham’s Red Rooms on Saturday night.
With the renowned popularity of headliners Moose Blood, it was unsurprising to find the sold out venue so fit to burst before the show had begun. Not one of those crowds that just came along for the headliners, the tightly pressed mass sparked with the music from the off, and in every gap between tracks long enough to say anything coherent, vocalist Henry Cox expressed his shock and appreciation of how many had turned out so early. With a stage and atmosphere suited to the likes of Modern Baseball, the solid, straight-forward rock backing seemed somewhat incongruous; Boston Manor seemed somewhat torn between the two.
The band seemed to be made of mercury; limbs and hair flying everything, they were never still for more than a second. There was a definite sense that they were trying to tear up the stage the way ROAM had several months previously, and although with a bit more work, they could become known for the energy in their live show, Boston Manor aren’t there yet. The technicalities of the show were on the same level, at moments excellent and at other slightly nauseating; practise makes progress though, and even by the close of the set there was a significant improvement.
When it came to vocal work of the show, again, there were moments in the start of the set that cried for improvement and when Henry said, “if you know the words, help me out”, before Wolf (fourth track off their more recent release) he didn’t seem to be saying it purely to warm the crowd up. A quick adjust of the mic level seemed to compensate for the majority of this though, and in Here/Now, “Where are my friends? And are they happy? Does anyone even fucking like me?”, delivered with minimal backing, highlighted the emotionally raw sound the band thrived on, despite Henry’s vocals distinctly wavering.
Taking a break from the flat out rock of the majority of the set, title track off their recent EP Driftwood had an opening gentle and intricate enough to show Boston Manor are more than just a heavy-riffs-and-tight-lyricism rock band, appealing to the emo side of their music. Thumping bass and the nice touch of back vocals made the song a bit special, and it’s easy to see why the track’s close was met with a wave of cheers. Red Rooms is the perfect venue for this genre of music, accentuating the breathtaking riffs and percussion, strong enough to block out any and every other thought.
Boston Manor did a terrific job with their release of Driftwood, already putting them on the map for their studio work. Now, with a live show strong enough to win over any crowd, they’re on track to have the whole package.