Avi Buffalo - The Deaf Institute, Manchester - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Avi Buffalo - The Deaf Institute, Manchester

by Dan Clay Rating: Release Date:

"Hello Manchester United"

Clearly connecting the nation's music and football capital in one, California's Avi Buffalo arrived at Manchester's delightful Deaf Institute ready to turn on the style. Sporting a strange shell suit/Technicolor coat, lead singer Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg (or Avi for short) set about promoting Sub Pop's latest gem with unparalleled ease and a real passion.

Launching into first single 'What's In It For?', the band immediately engaged; Avi's crisp guitar play mixing well with Rebecca Coleman's soft keyboard tones. With the audience on their side the band began to rip through their debut album, ramping up the volume and ditching the only acoustic number 'One Last' because, in Coleman's words: "You need an acoustic guitar for that one and we don't have one."

Note-perfect versions of 'Coaxed', 'Jessica' (dedicated with a wink to a girl on the front row) and 'Five Little Sluts' (click on link for video) follow before Avi's asked by the band to turn his guitar down slightly. He duly obliges before launching into an improvised 'McDonald's Funk' with them, although it really could have reflected any high street burger chain such was the comparative blandness of it to the band's own melodically structured work.

Thankfully, things get back to normal on a floaty version of 'Where's Your Dirty Mind?' complete with a little finger guitar riff that highlight's Avi's talents. Even when an audience member bemoans 6 Music's plight to much applause the singer joins in to support, aware such bands owe a debt to such band-loving music stations.

This is a young group clearly content with their music, aware of how good it sounds and at total ease playing it. Even when Coleman's keyboard plug comes loose during final song "Remember Last Time" - a seven minute epic which builds from a quick strum to a crescendo of melody - she calmly walks to the front of the stage to reconnect it and then carries on as if nothing happened. Why worry?

As the final sounds of encore 'Summer Cum' drift down the stairwell to the warm night outside after a relatively brief set list, we could have almost been in California. A step outside greeted by drunken students makes you wish you were. Lovely.

Avi Buffalo are back in UK at the end of August playing Lancaster, Shoreditch, Reading & Leeds, Edinburgh and Nottingham. Don't miss them!

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