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Alcest, Lone Wolf Live @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK

ALCEST / Lone Wolf
in Thursday, 7 May 2015 at The Deaf Institute
by Danny Sanderson

The Deaf Institute, a small club in the very heart of Manchester's student quarter, has made a name for itself by putting on some decent bands in the upstairs bar area, and for the most part it puts on gigs for bands from the Indie and Electronic music scenes. It's antiquated decor, striking Victorian architecture and bohemian atmosphere and aesthetic have made this place a hidden gem for music fans who want to check out up and coming acts. For the most part, there aren't many Heavy Metal gigs here. But on the rare occasions when a Metal band comes to town and takes up residence in the living quarters situated just inside the backstage area, you know it's going to be something unique. It's not your standard Rock venue that puts on your standard Rock acts, and the gigs that happen there are far from your ordinary night out enjoying live music. Watching a band here is an experience that you should have at least once, because almost every live show in this venue tears the house down. And tonight is not any different; serene French shoe-gazers ALCEST are just a few hours away from hitting the stage with a great act in LONE WOLF filling the support slot, and by the time the doors open, the atmosphere is positively buzzing with palpable energy.

By the time that LONE WOLF hit the stage, there's plenty of people milling into the venue, beer in hand, ready for some live music. Their music is a nice change from watching a loud, full on Metal band play a gig, and I wouldn't expect anything other than something wholly unique when it comes to a show and venue like this. Their music is incredibly mellow, calming, and great to just observe and enjoy. It makes a great change from watching a band who sound violent whilst dodging out of the way of a writhing mass of mosh-pit martial artists. This is apparently their first show live in about two years; not that you can tell, because they play so confidently and well, and the three band members all play so tightly, and so well, that it's hard to believe that this band haven't been touring extensively for as long a period as they've actually had a live hiatus. Songs off the new album, such as "Crimes", sound fantastic, and sit really well alongside the rest of the bands older material perfectly. Their music is a delicious blend of Indie and Ambient music, and it sounds awesome. They go down very well with the crowd, and the stage has been set for the headlining act.

After a relatively short change over, it's time for ALCEST to take their place on stage in front for the now heaving crowd. They open their set with "Opale" and "Summer's Glory", two of the leading tracks off of the bands newest record, "Shelter", and they go down very well with the crowd and help to set the overall tone of he show. Their set list consists of a very eclectic mix of different songs from different albums in their back catalogue, including some heavier material from their early days, like "Les Iris", from the bands first full length. The music flows together really well, and overall, the band, crowd and venue just become really mellow. Just like with LONE WOLF, this is designed more to be observed and enjoyed. It's a showcase of a band that are outstanding in their musical field, and they hold the attention of the packed room and captivate the excited onlookers with relative ease. Barring a few technical hiccups, including some problems with the sound after the opening song, the show goes incredibly smoothly, and the band manage to fit several of their fan favourites into the twelve song set. The venue of the gig suits their music down to the ground, and the thick, blue hue that the band are bathed in for most of the set gives the live experience a slightly dark and over-worldly quality that can't be matched by many bands.

1. Opale
2. Summer's Glory
3. Nous Sommes l'Emeraude
4. Ecailles de Lune- Part 1
5. Les Iris
6. Souvenirs d'un autre monde
7. L'eveil des Muses
8. Les Voyages de L'ame
9. Sur L'ocean couleur de fer
10. Percees de Lumiere
11. Autre Temps
12. Deliverance

As people slowly begin to file out of the venue, and make their way home, a lot of people are making it clear that they liked their live show. One thing that is certain regarding what we've all just witnessed is this, however; This is certainly a band who are on top of their game. They have played an absolutely sterling set, just days before they storm the stage at Incineration Festival, arguably the bands most significant headlining live engagement to date on these shores, and it's clear that the band are practically poised to potentially be pushed into the limelight of the more mainstream Avante-Garde scene. And if tonight's show is anything to go by, the band are more than ready for it.

Promoter: NMC Live
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