Love Unsigned with: Weekend Wars, Katie O’Malley & Fro. The Castle Hotel, 18/2/2017 27/02/17 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On a mild evening in Manchester, the prolific promoters, Love Music Promotions presented a willing audience with an evening of unsigned bands playing wildly varied styles. With The Castle being a 70 capacity venue, it was always going to be a close and warm affair. First on the stage were Fro. An adventurous, meandering psych trio who did not seem afraid to adlib and experiment with their sound, constantly flipping and turning their direction from one bar to the next. Quite clearly they are 3 very accomplished musicians who are keen on twisting the rules of songwriting. Would definitely like to catch them again. Next on the stage was Katie O’ Malley, accompanied by her backing band which including that roundly handsome dude from Gold Jacks on the drums. They sauntered through an array of delicate, fluent folk that had many in the intimate confounds of The Castle fixated on the stage. Katie and her entourage were certainly a fine fit for such a venue and offered a pleasant transition between the shows openers and headliners. Weekend Wars hit the stage and wheeled through an array of chirpy indie numbers that I can certainly imagine the likes of Huw Stephens lapping up. The St Helens 5-Piece pushed the boundaries of the small venue and would certainly fit comfortably on a festival stage, their sound ranging from catchy tune to anthemic banger. They closed out the evening in clinical fashion, putting on a vice-tight performance, with the only constructive criticism I would offer would be for them to move around a little more and get stuck in with the audience. Other than that, they’re a band that I can see jumping out of the ‘unsigned’ bracket very soon. Overall, it was a great night of music in a super venue. In future I would like to see a little more fluidity with the musical styles from act to act. Although diversity (an old old wooden ship) is an important tool in music, it doesn’t help sometimes when the audience fluctuates so heavily from band to band because they’re all completely different genres. Nevertheless, Love Music Promotions obviously have a keen eye for upcoming talent. --------------------------------------------------------------- Words: Krystian Hudson



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