In our eyes, The Wytches have been one of the undoubted success stories of 2014. After electrifying us here at Far Out with early singles like ‘Gravedweller’ and ‘Wire Frame Mattress’, then came the proof in the grunge-rock pudding with a debut album Annanbel Dream Reader that is pretty much flawless.
The Heavenly Recordings signees have been prolific on the road too. Never reluctant to break out of their hometown of Brighton, the teenage three-piece have been wowing audiences up and down the country in a manner akin to acts way beyond their years.
As part of their latest jaunt, the Wytches were scheduled to only touch down in Manchester on one night, within the intimate surroundings of the Deaf Institute. However, unprecedented popularity saw them return three days later – accompanied by Far Out favourites Telegram – to the Ruby Lounge.
The place is packed out, demonstrating that – despite not looking the picture of a band who are considered one of the most enthralling in the UK right now – they are a trio who have garnered a huge amount of interest.
The demographic is mixed, with audience members who look old enough to be the band’s parents, as well as those appearing to enjoy one of the first night out packed with this much rock ‘n’ roll exuberance.
Opener ‘Burn Out the Bruise’ is an uncompromising piece of noise that brings punk, pop and grunge together in one exciting package. With just minutes having passed, the more geed up onlookers down the front have thrown themselves into a circle pit and the tone is set.
It wasn’t until the record was unveiled that it became clear frontman Kristian Bell had a softer side beyond his hard-rocking exterior, and it is often at these moments when shows that are typically raucous stall a little.
But that’s simply not the case here, particularly when ‘Weights and Ties’ switches from borderline balladry to encapsulating noise-pop. Bell’s lyrics are at times a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a musician who seems quiet and reserved in his general character. There’s little interaction with the Manchester audience, but the music more than does the talking.
As they leave the stage for the second time in Manchester in just a few days, the appreciation from those who have witnessed this show – and maybe even both (from what we heard, there were quite a few who simply couldn’t keep away) – is unrelenting. If you want want a night out of rock ‘n’ roll that is a shot in the arm packed with grunge-tinged encapsulation, The Wytches should really be for you.