A new blend of music was brewing this month in Manchester’s Soup Kitchen for the first of many GREY live events. Headlined by one of the city’s tastiest musical prodigies, Adio Marchant, otherwise known as Bipolar Sunshine, supporting acts offered further insight into this emerging underground scene.
Bipolar Sunshine guitarist Jazz Purple was the first to grace the stage, displaying new solo material such as the sublimely wacky ‘The Chronicles of Jazz Purple’, featuring effervescent metallic rhythms behind an intensified vocal rawness. Next up was the atmospheric psychedelic broodings of ‘August&Us’, including the hazy melodies of Stone Roses inspired Fun.
As Marchant arrived onstage, the sold out Soup Kitchen basement crowd were soon enthralled by a set spanning a suitably sprawling cover of Tears for Fears’ Mad World, lifted from the Aesthetics EP Mixtape released at the start of the year, to acclaimed escapist anthems in ‘Deckchairs On The Moon’ and ‘Daydreamer’.
Earlier on in the night, Marchant shed light on where the idea to present GREY nights was first ignited, highlighting a burgeoning creative collective in the city who required an outlet to explore their talents in an environment where tired genre labels cease to exist.
“I see there is a great set of musicians and artists, photographers, designers, who just needed that extra platform. It’s that grey area that not many people speak about, making music for Manchester and not really caring what’s going on in the mainstream.” Marchant told Far Out Magazine.
“It’s about feeling comfortable making the music without feeling the need to be cast as grime or hip-hop. We’re doing the first GREY night tonight, and hopefully it’ll be the first of many. I really wanted to put people on the bill who I thought would do some really dope shit.”
Talking of his own ambitions beyond hosting GREY nights, Marchant stated with passionate intent the latest on his much anticipated debut album due out shortly after the turn of the year, indicating a current songwriting streak and a desire to follow-up with a second effort soon after.
“I’ve done a few songs in New York, a couple of which will make it to the album, and I’ve recently released one with DJ Snape. I’m just allowing that to take flight, but with the timespan I’m already on album two mentality.
“As an artist it’s difficult, you just want to work on the new stuff, but at the same time I want to give people a body of work, and then move onto the next body of work very soon after giving people a chance to relive the songs that had something, and let people hear it as a full piece.”
The refreshingly raw innocence comprising Bipolar Sunshine’s output to date, such as the ingenuously emotive tale of entering romance in the insecure aftermath of failed relationships on Where Did The Love Go in early 2014. This has paved the way for a series of powerful single releases met with a raft of industry buzz, whereby the imminent unleashing of these songs as a collective to the world’s ears has seen Marchant become hungrier to push his abilities as far as possible, free from the constraints of controlling management or record labels in which many young artists succumb in modern music.
“I feel like I want to reach the space where it feels like it’s taking me, and having that freedom of being able to make music that I like. There’s nothing better than creating something and thinking ‘this is amazing’, ‘I want everyone to hear it’, but at the same time I’m trying to keep some quality control.
“I want to keep pushing the boundaries and enjoying it, that’s the big thing. There are hard times along the way but you still have to enjoy it. Everything suffers if you’re not.”
When prompted on key inspirations as an aspiring artist, it’s intriguing to learn that it’s the unique and unusual which grabs attention. The carbon copy manufacturing of bands and artists in a disposable music landscape is the antithesis of what the GREY scene wants to represent, with Marchant being ready to offer an alternative to a bland post X-Factor landscape short on legitimate musical role models.
“I’m inspired by great musicians, people that push their own boundaries. I like unusual voices and characters. I’d buy into someone’s personality even before their music. I want to know what they’re like, so people who I aspire to are characters.”
In alignment with the Manchester winter period, it looks as if the city’s musical forecast is in for a delightfully lengthy period of GREY.