- Bernard + Edith
With a LOT of fuss surrounding both of tonight’s Bella Union-signed Manchester acts, it looks like we’re set for a phenomenal evening in Leaf. Heard cursorily, BERNARD + EDITH’s music shows hallmarks of a London Grammar-style slow and seductive post-trip-hop, or an XX-ish ambient noir, but it’s more characteristic and subtly dislocating than that. Their latest EP, Poppy, is filled with drum-machine medleys and shallow synthesisers, and the duo enliven this majestically on the evening, experimenting with their brooding synthesis and stretching boundaries far beyond.
Jamie Lee, Charlie Cocksedge, Billy Byron and Scott Beaman formed MONEY in their adopted home of Manchester and embody the passion, creativity and optimism of a new generation of artists and musicians from that city. They have an extremely large and devoted fanbase in the North West, having performed beautiful and passionate shows around Liverpool over the last year or so, and they have pushed their intentions even further with their second album, Suicide Songs. As with any band’s natural desire for growth, it can be tricky following up on a highly praised debut album, but MONEY seem safe with Suicide Songs, as it will surely build upon the acclaim gained since their first record, The Shadow Of Heaven.
Frontman Lee opens the set with a melancholic acoustic track. Lee owns the stage, backed by a rather unusual backline, consisting of a piano, cello and fiddle. This is great to start with, but after a while it becomes extremely monotonous. This isn’t a flaw in their performance, just an opinion as to the choice of dynamics. Perhaps it was part of the performance, as, mid-set, Lee exchanges the acoustics for an electric guitar and MONEY move all of a sudden into sixth gear. The renowned electronic strains of the band come to fruition on I’ll Be The Night as the band gain momentum, moving onwards and upward through the gears to create a bold sonic soundscape. The textures MONEY create are fit for the Bauhaus confines of Leaf, as the ambient nature of the venue conspires to amplify Lee’s deep and meaningful lyrics, leaving only bystanders in awe of proceedings.