It’s 7:25 at Manchester Academy 3; Prides are headlining and there are about 20 people in the crowd just before No Hot Ashes come on stage at half-past. The four lads from Stockport were crammed onto the small stage and were pushed forward even more due to other bands equipment, and kicked their set off with the simply titled ‘Cigs and PG Tips’.

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Although there were only about 30 people in the crowd at this point, the band didn’t let it phase them, they played as if the room was packed out and thanked everyone for getting down early to catch their set. Punchy indie lyrics with fast, heavy and funky instrumentals, they’re one to go and check out. As the band put it, “We are No Hot Ashes, buy our singles, we are poor”.

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By 8:15, the Academy has filled out a bit more in time for Fatherson, who took the crowd by surprise and blew them away. Their new single ‘Always’ is a powerful song that showed the entire crowd that great music still exists; this is the type of music you would listen to if you were going through turmoil and you needed a safety net of brilliant music to catch you. The Scottish quartet amazed the crowd with their heavy tunes and insightful lyrics.

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It was time for Prides, and the speakers slowly built up with the joyous Disney classic ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’, which bounced around the venue as the excited music lovers sang along. The synth-pop trio started their set with a drum solo as front-men Stewart and Callum walked out onto the Manchester stage, and after a highly anticipating build up, they began their set with ‘It’s Not Gonna Change’.

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The boys released their debut LP in July this year and played played the majority of songs from it, including ‘The Way Back Up’, which had the crowd singing their hearts out. Before their departure from the stage and a three-song encore was ‘Just Say It’ which sent the crowd into a rowdy dancing spree, and stood out as a peak of the evening.

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Photos by Holly Mason