The Irrepressibles - Moho Live - Manchester - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Irrepressibles - Moho Live - Manchester

by Steve Rhodes Rating: Release Date:

It's not often I see a band based solely on word-of-mouth, but the theatrics of The Irrepressibles has enticed me into Moho Live on a grim Tuesday evening along with around a decent number of like-minded enticees who huddle round the stage. Though more suited to theatres and halls and often grand sets, The Irrepressibles deal with the rather dark confines of Moho Live with just a small selection of lighting to aid their performance.

The nine-piece band emerge dressed in mystical and almost matching garb and assemble themselves around the lead singer and guitarist of the outfit, Jamie McDermott. After an inauspicious opener, The Irrepressibles leap into life, quite literally, with the band participating in sudden, choreographed movement, whilst playing their instruments around their singer. Unleashing strings, glockenspiel, keys, oboe, clarinet, percussion and double-bass, the band are dramatic and theatric and support Jamie's lead beautifully. The centrepoint though is Jamie himself, whose style is David Sylvian and Kate Bush meets Midsummer Night's Dream and his glorious multi-octave vocals shake a nod towards Anthony Hegarty and Billy Mackenzie, while still remaining absolutely unique.

At home equally with operatic musical numbers 'Knife Song' and 'Splish Splash Sploo' and mounful yarns such as 'The Tide' and 'I'll Maybe Let You', The Irrepressibles' performance and dramatic posturing never let up and continually enchants and enthralls the audience. The closer of the main set, 'In This Shirt', is a highlight, with its deranged, building strings and a yearning organ supporting Jamie's torch-lit vocals. A perfect ode to a perfect set.

It's 'Forget the Past' though which is their killer song. Its beautiful piano-led start along with Jamie's opening lyric of "You'll be the way to begin, You'll be the the water on stain, You'll be the call in my name, Jamie, Jamie" is just lush and heartwarming, living long in the memory after the band depart. From the ecstatic reaction from the audience, there are clearly a few more converts to the band after this gig, including me, in awe of a powerful and memorable performance. The Irrepressibles are simply one of the best live bands around at the moment and this was one of the best gigs I've seen in a long time. I'll be rushing out to see them again when they next tour and everyone else should do too.

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