Swansea Sound TallyrandSwansea Sound
The Talleyrand, Levenshulme
Friday 4th March

Indie Legends lockdown project arrives in Levenshulme.

I’ve never been to The Talleyrand before but heard a lot of good things about it. An independent bar and intimate venue just under 4 miles out of Manchester City Centre, on the fabled 192 bus route. Upon arriving it took me back to some of the first gigs I went to, backrooms of pubs with makeshift stages. Things have moved on a little since those days but it is the perfect setting for tonight’s gig.

Swansea Sound are supported this evening by Good Grief, 2 parts Liverpool, 1 part Swansea. They play a tight set consisting of guitar-led melodic indie. It’s the first I’ve heard of them but am looking forward to hearing their debut album, Shake Your Faith, which is due on 18th March.

The main act, an Indie ‘supergroup’ consists of Hue Williams, Pooh Sticks partner Amelia Fletcher (ex- Talulah Gosh. Heavenly etc), Rob Pursey (also ex-Heavenly) and Ian Button (ex Thrashing Doves). although around 150 years of gig experience between them, this is only their 4th gig, and it’s also Hue’s Birthday.

They work their way through their album, Live At The Rum Puncheon, itself named after a pub in the Townhill area of Swansea, in sequential order. Crowd interaction is high throughout, there’s a definite bond between band and audience which has endured across the years. The crowd join in on the opening Rock n Roll Void and I Sold My Soul On eBay. The Pooh Sticks, a song written by Rob about the band that Hue and Amelia once fronted goes down well. Je Ne Sais Quoi has a proper C86 / Clash feel to it while Indies Of The World has the partisan crowd punching the air and singing along. The penny had dropped that things were happening in ‘album order’ which meant the audience could confidently shout out for what was due next.

Ahead of the final track from the album, Swansea Sound, Hue explained the band’s name, he being the only ‘Welsh one’ in the band, the rest coming from Kent. Like many ‘independent’ radio stations, Swansea Sound was taken over and ‘rebranded’ by the Greatest Hits Radio Group in 2020. The main set finishes, the band leave the stage to rapturous applause with a call for an encore… the slight issue being they’ve played all their songs! Hue jokes they should have had the foresight to plan for this scenario, as they climb back on stage and ask the crowd what they’re like to hear again. Rock N Roll Void wins hands down and the group perform the opening track again, with added vigour.

As a teen attending gigs at the likes of the Boardwalk and International in Manchester in the 1980’s I would never have imagined that some 30 plus years later I would still have the opportunity to see some of my musical heroes play; let alone being able to buy new material from them. The great thing tonight though is knowing that the individuals on stage, despite all being successful ‘away from music’, have never lost the love and passion which led them to form bands in the first place. Long live the Indie Band!

Catch Swansea Sound in BRISTOL Zed Alley May 27 or NEWPORT Le Pub May 28 or visit their Bandcamp

~

All words by Iain Key. See his Author Profile here author’s archive or on Twitter as @iainkey.

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50 going on 30... Dad to McKenzi... Season Ticket for MUFC... Collector of Music... Enjoys writing, especially about Manchester bands / Factory Records... Favourite Music : Joy Division/New Order, Wedding Present, The Smiths, Northside, Fightmilk, The Fall, The Jam, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Billy Bragg, Beatles, World Of Twist, My Chemical Romance, James, Happy Mondays, Section 25, Working Mens Club.... so so many....

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