Live Review – The Strypes (Manchester Ritz 26/09/15)

It’s a couple of years since I last saw The Strypes, 2013 for them brought optimism that they could convert the opportunities given to them such as supporting The Courteeners and Arctic Monkeys into full-time popularity and engage a young audience that were stuck in limbo as the latter turned into everything they hadn’t been previously.

It seems that The Strypes have stood still, there’s a certain progression that seemed scripted to happen that just hasn’t occurred. It was in the Ritz last night that this group of lads should have been at their absolute peak after 3 years in the public eye. Their earlier songs are still categorised in the most as “growers” and their new material seems to be hit and miss for even the spring-stepped teenagers at the front yearning for a blow-away performance.

However, if The Script are one of the only current Irish bands to be in the mainstream they might have a member of their tribute act ready and waiting in lead guitarist Josh McClorey. Laden with own band memorabilia and a snapback cap the wrong was round to protect the back of his neck from the beating-down lighting backstage, he is everything The Strypes were hoped not to be. 

Lead singer Ross Farrelly (also seemingly suffering from the backlights so much sunglasses were necessary throughout) was impressive until his final exit from the stage – gesturing two fingers to the crowd as he walked off. Ross, there were tickets in abundance available for the gig last night, and if it weren’t for the exuberant few dozen at the front you might have found yourself gesturing to half a crowd. Arrogance needs to be justified in order for it to be a) effective, and b) cool.

The highlight; bass player Pete O’Hanlon’s impressive stage dive, clearing a wide gap between stage and crowd as well as a good few rows of heads after it. You can have a thorough congratulations.

The Salisbury does good rugby-themed ales, and SoLita in the Northern Quarter is fantastic to feed a lad slightly disappointed and not to keen to go in search of The Strypes again; what a shame. Lauren was right.

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