“It’s great to be back in Manchester!” drummer Thomas Armstrong exclaims, before Sound Control’s crammed attic breaks into a joint sing-a-long to the chorus of sizzling set opener ‘Wash It Down’.
Completed by vocalist/bassist Matthew Marcantonio and guitarist Adam Godfrey, Demob Happy have stamped their name across the scene for the past two years with their distinctive melodies, killer grunge riffs and impeccable live shows. If you’ve got any common sense, you’ll know that Dream Soda was one of 2015’s best albums – and by dropping ‘Be Your Man’ and ‘Dead Dreamers’ throughout the past few months, it’s clear that the Newcastle-born, Brighton-based trio are back for round two.
It’s a night for new material as unreleased songs offer hints of Death from Above and a fuckload of anthemic choruses. Basslines vibrate the floor as the Dinosaur Pile-Up crowd form mini circle-pits, showing as much appreciation for the support as they do for the headliners. “The album’s out next year – we hope you like the new stuff” Marcantonio grins – and judging the mass of moving bodies, nobody’s disappointed.
October’s ‘Be Your Man’ is particular highlight, its sludgy intro riff sounding massive alongside those beautiful chorus harmonies. The trio always leave you shocked – because the sound they produce is simply insane. Their stage presence is incredible; their passion infectious. It’s clear that tonight, Demob Happy have come baring all.
As ‘Succubus’ ends the set with Armstrong’s pitch-perfect harmonies and Godrey’s enviable chords, you can’t deny that Demob Happy are back in business, ready to go. Let’s hope that 2018’s sophomore effort brings us as much joy as this gig did.