LIVE: Alvvays w/ Spinning Coin @ Academy 2, Manchester, 19.02.18

Spinning Coin were main support for the evening and captured the crowd with cool, casual and easy energy. The two main vocals switched between songs and created great dynamic shifts from harsh low vocals to high falsetto melodies. The short, catchy set was littered with impressive jangly Gibson guitar licks that never seemed too cocky or over confident. When used the female backing vocals added other elements to the set that I would’ve liked to have heard more of. Overall they made a great and suited opener for Alvvays.

Alvvays enter the sold out room of Manchester Academy 2 to the sound of a droning synth and dive straight into song ‘Hey’ from most recent album Antisocialites. You immediately grasp the stylish, colourful attitude of the Toronto based band as they bop about in front of UFO style visuals. ‘In Undertow’ captures the crowd playing out pretty organ tones from the keyboard and overall sounded exactly like the recording it was so tight. Between the back and forth from the over driven, distorted, whammy barred jazz master and the powerful lead call and response vocals there wasn’t much I could fault from the set. ‘Not my baby’ lit up the crowd and they played out the song with casual effortless attitude. Keeping track of the countless catchy melodies almost seems impossible and after a deep dark synth interlude it was time to “Show off that British bounce” for ‘Archie, Marry Me’ from their first album. Apparently “the fact it is a Monday night doesn’t matter to Manchester” which definitely showed. Overall the whole show brought notions of all the sweet, romantic elements of 80’s music nostalgia touching on themes of love and empathy through their musicality and lyrics. Alvvays draw the set to a close with a wistful rendition of ‘Dreams Tonite’ and finally finish with an Encore of ‘Blue’ and ‘Next of Kin’ leaving us all perfectly satisfied by their performance.

Louis Barrett