The Kazimier isn’t quite full tonight, but attendance is healthy. AUGUST+US provide support and the Manchester trio easily hold the room’s attention as they provide a slice of sunny alt pop with a roughened edge that singles them out as something different in an overly-saturated market of summer-ready bands.
When BIPOLAR SUNSHINE take the stage, there is almost a confusion as to whether this is the same Adio Marchant we’re familiar with as he bounces onto the stage emanating optimism.
While Love More Worry Less is the sort of gloomy half-baked social commentary that has been doing the rounds for years and is hardly ground-breaking, tonight in front of a live audience it has a much more heartfelt approach. To counter this emotion the rendition comes complete with a throbbing sexual drum-kick torn straight from the pages of The Weeknd’s early work, the then bench-mark for promiscuous future RnB.
This sets the tone for an evening that is genre-bending throughout. Those who have listened to Bipolar Sunshine’s work would be forgiven for expecting a subdued and slightly sullen experience but it is quite the opposite. Opening with Future (Part 1) is a sultry starting point and the All Night Long dance-fuelled hook is delivered in a woozy manner that highlights how versatile Marchant’s vocals can be.
Sonically speaking he may not have the most impressive voice but the delivery changes on nearly every track to great effect: the sullen drawl of Love More Worry Less gives way to the reserved approach of Deckchairs On The Moon, which explodes into an array of optimism and glitter when the monumental chorus kick in.
Marchant’s three-piece live band also deserve enormous credit for ensuring that the more deeply layered songs from Bipolar’s Sunshine’s catalogue are just as detailed when performed live. And then some.
There are multiple song covers too: Mad World makes an appearance, but their rendition of Rihanna, Paul McCartney and Kanye West’s recent Four Five Seconds is so organic it almost takes the room a minute or two to realise they are singing someone else’s song.
Chatter is kept to a minimum throughout the night except for some very appreciative “thank you”s, Marchant does however instruct the crowd to take two steps towards the stage, presumably to get everyone in attendance on backing vocals which he calls out for frequently over the course of the forty-five-minute set.
On record Bipolar Sunshine have a tendency to lean towards a delicate approach that can be construed as a little underwhelming but the live incarnations of these tracks take on a character that is hugely explosive and absorbing. If this formula can be bottled and applied to their forthcoming debut album then Marchant just might make the breakthrough that Kid British (his previous band) always promised but never achieved