Live Review

Manchester Orchestra, Scala, London

A lesson in just how loud they can be.

When Manchester Orchestra set to work on their newest album ‘Cope’, they hoped to finally create an album that matched their ferocity live: all pummelling drums and guitars turned the whole way up. Safe to say, they succeeded, and tonight’s intimate London show is a lesson in just how loud they can be.

Their aims throughout the set are simple enough – to delve comfortably in and out of their discography, barely batting an eyelid at a tempo change - but it’s the execution that is most glorious. From the bombastic opener ‘Shake It Out’ to their poignant but quietly brooding closer ‘Where Have You Been?’, they demonstrate themselves to be a band who have honed their craft and then some. The new songs aired - ‘Cope’, ‘The Ocean’, ‘Every Stone’, ‘Top Notch’ - sound as huge as they’d have hoped in the rather crowded Scala, while the reaction to their older offerings borders on rapturous. It’s not all in-your-face though: nuggets like ‘Simple Math’ and ‘Colly Strings’ demonstrate their more delicate side, swooning and intricate, the crowd hangs upon Andy Hull’s every lyric.

What’s also impressive is that this evening’s show was sold out in just under half an hour. By the time their final chord rings out, it’s clear why. The band already have another London show scheduled and after tonight, It’s hard not to wonder why the whole capital isn’ty scrabbling for tickets already.

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