Live Review

Local Natives, Manchester Club Academy

The whole room erupts into bodies dancing, mouths chanting and hands rising to the ceiling.

Moustached and dashing Local Natives’ rolling guitars and choral echoes fill the sold out Club Academy. Beginning with ‘Wide Eyes’, they set the tone for the evening - getting high.

Euphoric shouts emitting from various members can’t disguise the fact that Local Natives are a tight band. Weaving in and out each other with riffs and harmonies they totally have it down. ‘World News’ has one of the guys up front in a near fit as he shouts the words in his less than impressed girlfriend’s ear, but that sums up the band. They make you want to run around in a fit of happiness, shouting at the top of your voice. Even discordant tracks like ‘Warning Sign’ have an edge of sunshine happiness to them - maybe it’s the ineffable LA sunshine floating through.

The slower tracks simmer beneath the crowd, lulling them down off the shouting-the-lyrics-loudly rampage (although at this point Mr-Singing-to-his-Girlfriend does begin swaying with her and ass grazing which is upsetting). Songs like ‘Who Knows Who Cares’ and ‘Stranger Things’ show the softer side to the band. When a quiet song can still hold the audience’s attention you know it’s a winner, and with beers held aloft in tribute it’s a wonder no one cracks out the lighters in tribute.

Keeping stage banter to a minimum but packing the set with amazing songs is a good choice. There’s perceptible disappointment when the band leave the stage without bringing out ‘Sun Hands’. Taking a three minute break before the encore, the air is filled with shouted requests. Once the familiar strums start up the whole room erupts into bodies dancing, mouths chanting and hands rising to the ceiling. It seems there is a new cult band in town, and they will be going far.

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