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The Virginmarys - Barfly, London - 6th March 2013 (Live Review)

Thursday, 07 March 2013 Written by Anna Ghislena
The Virginmarys - Barfly, London - 6th March 2013 (Live Review)

Macclesfield has produced some interesting and legendary musicians over the decades. Joy Division’s Ian Curtis grew up there; and then there was, ahem, The Macc Lads. Yes, the last time I went to see a band from Macclesfield, (and it was some time ago now), I ran home to my mummy in fear of losing my dignity and compassion for my fellow mankind, never even making it across the threshold of a notorious Macc Lads gig. The Virginmarys, however, are the North’s new legends in the making, and for all the right reasons. The fact that the words “Sold Out” were pasted on the door was a very good indication of this too. The moment the trio emerged from the darkened “off stage” sides of Barfly’s intimate sweat box, I was spellbound and enchanted by their unassuming presence; their lyrical poetry and the driving blast of ear battering riffs, tub bashing and vocals like barbed wire that had me tightly bound to the spot with imaginary nails driven into my feet.

ImageHaving just given The Virginmary’s new album, 'King of Conflict', a five star rating in my recent review, I was actually a little anxious to be similarly impressed with their live performance. Centre stage and only slightly set behind the mics, Danny Dolan curled over his level arrangement of tubs and cymbals, with bassist/vocals, Matt Rose, eyes hidden by hair, to his left. Lead/vocalist, Ally Dickaty, square jawed and raven haired stood to his right. Joined together like Siamese triplets, the band is a tight unit. Their timing is impeccable; sharp, even jagged at the right times and explosively taught. They speak with their eyes, both to each other and their audience.

Like a punch, their new single, 'Just A Ride' was smacked in our faces and the clarity of their startling delivery was like crystal. With this the audience was revved to burst. 'Out of Mind' spotlighted Ally’s talent for lead as they headed through track after track from the new album. With unrelenting energy they arrived at 'My Little Girl', the less than innocent song that saw Danny stand to beat the hell out of a drum with a single stick until cascading bluesy guitar riffs had us grinding our hips and shaking our heads in sleaze style through to the end.

Throughout the likes of 'Same As It Ever Was', 'Dead Man’s Shoes' and 'Dressed to Kill', there is hardly any banter between the band and the audience and you wonder why there is so little verbal interaction. To be honest, they don’t need it. Their songs speak louder than trivial conversation or attempts get the audience participating in some sort of sing-off. For a young band with a gradually growing repertoire, they filled a satisfyingly lengthy set with songs made of supreme adrenalin, strangled tones and sparkling precision.

'To Dust' was the only time that I noticed the crowd stopping in their tracks despite the storming delivery until they were hooked again by 'Ends Don’t Mend'. Forced to stay onstage for the encore due to the size of the venue, Ally took on 'Stripped', a poetic solo ballad, before the crazed 'Bang Bang Bang' infected the crowd with a touch of madness and I wondered if the floor could take it when the en mass psycho yell of “Wee hah!” was embraced like lunatics in a padded cell.

So, yes, I can safely say I am similarly impressed with their live performance. Breathless in fact. I may even be so bold as to suggest that they are one of the most exciting bands on the planet today and have the potential to be absolutely massive!

The Virginmarys continue their tour tonight in Bristol.

The Virginmarys UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu March 7th 2013 - Louisiana, Bristol
Fri March 8th 2013 - Manchester Academy 3, Manchester

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