The bright red and blue fluorescent lights beamed across the stage and reflected into the crowd at Manchester’s Club Academy as music lovers formed a healthy crowd; with youngsters holding cups of lemonade dressed in dungarees and plaid shirts, the night was something of a quaint nostalgic flashback. Young teens were singing along to ‘Soul Man’ in the interlude before the first local support band Flesh took the stage, the lead singer’s voice was a grungy pop punk style accompanied by screechy guitar solos, with really dry drum beats and attitude to match.
On came The Family Rain as secondary support and their stage presence was formidable as the lead singer ambled over to the centre stage as the audience watched with rapture, their sound giving a nod to the 80s band Jane’s Addiction which seemed a heavy influence.
The Family Rain
The crowd was highly anticipating that star of the show, throwing drinks to the front of the stage and shouting “Ooh ahh Darlia, I said ooh ahh Darlia” in anticipation of the band’s arrival. The music cut off along with the lights and everyone went absolutely wild for the Blackpool trio.
Appearance-wise, frontman Nathan Day’s is not too dissimilar to the late Kurt Cobain with his blonde mop of hair on his head and smart grungy clothes, however Darlia’s sound is quite different and easier on the ears, with their tasteful melodies that you can both sway along and mosh to, joined with a kick drum that will make your heart skip a beat.
Some of the songs had quite a punk twist to them like ‘Choke On Bones’, but they still had time to pull some heavier beats out of the bag like ‘Stars Are Aligned’.
Overall, Darlia’s set was intense and dynamic. A fantastic performance from beginning to end with Candyman and Napalm being the pinnacle of the evening and leaving everyone wanting more.
Photos by Holly Mason