Every once in a while I travel to Manchester where I am always being introduced and confronted with charming new unsigned bands of various styles. I find myself engorged with the creative ethos which buzzes throughout the city and areas around. I find nothing but enthusiastic, talented, ambitious and delightfully gorgeous artists waiting for their opportunity to leave their mark on the world; a utopia for any to blossom in their specific skill discipline.
During my time in the beloved Manc-land I have been confronted with a fair few alternative hotspot venues such as the mighty Grand Central in the city centre to the Hark to Towler in Tottington and the Swan with Two Necks in Macclesfield.
The main reason I visit is to experience and take part in my sisters world. My sister Gemma is an aspiring artist; branching over several genres from Classic Rock, Metal to the odd folk tune. It has been a privilege to witness the progress Gemma has made throughout her career. After being a well known house name across Scotland for her very popular folk gigs Gemma ventured to England in search for pastures new and her true passion -Metal.
She soon found a band which met all of her musical need; Collibus. After teaming up with extremely gifted guitarist Stephen Platt and charismatic drummer Matther Mills, Out-Foxed was born; an outlet for a bit of cheesie classic rock covers and a way of making money while composing music for Collibus.
This brief history of my Manchester experience leads me to my most recent of English musical adventures. Saturday 14th January was the debut performance of DamageScape comprised of;
And Sarit Black.
Supporting the powerful Gone Til Winter at The Swan with Two Necks, Macclesfield. The first thing that struck me about this line-up was an almost ‘girl power’ theme. Female musicians seem far and few between but were represented in force on this occasion.
DamageScape is an outlet for Gemma’s own original music; revisted, revamped yet raw and tension building. A more personal side of the Collibus metal singer. With the added mastery of Stephen Platt’s incontrovertible discipline, accomplished rock drummer and teacher Matthew Mills with Sarit Black a successful female bassist; DamageScape are a powerhouse of sound and surely something to be heard.
The opening song of any gig, especially a début, is aimed to make and impression and grab / demand the attention of the audience however, due to a technical issue the majority of the crowd were left in bewilderment at the lack of vocals…
Guitar 1? Check
Guitar 2? Check
Vocals? Lost in the abyss of a sound desk.
DamageScape opened their set with ‘Falling Behind’, the crisp and technical sound rang through the venue invoking and irresistible foot tap or nod of approval. Many members of the audience were frustrated for the band at the sound error, yet applauded enthusiastically.
After the issue had been amended the set continued with the very thoughtful ‘My Crime’. This song highlighted the different between DamageScape and the other projects members are involved in. Soft and flowing, you felt reliant on every word of the heartbroken story, all emotion conveyed by a delicate melody. Not everyone’s cup of tea but good if you’re a sweet sentimental who can’t resist a ballad.
Next on the setlist; ‘Fictional Fantasy’, followed by a Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge) influenced ‘Refrain’, finally concluding on a highly polished high note; ‘Damage’.
Damage is certainly the strongest song the band has in their arsenal; confidently performed and it was good to see the members loosen up and find their stride. This was reflected in the audience by simple signs of appreciation; tapping fingers, nodding heads and donated drinks, as the infectious rhythm consumed everyone in the venue.
More of the same please.
Despite the obvious début gig jitters DamageScape’s overall performance was well executed however.. a little shy. A little bit more eye contact and energy next time guys.
I am looking forward to the next time I see DamageScape, it’ll be interesting to see how they have bonded/evolved as a band and how comfortable they are playing together. All in all 7/10
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