Today felt more like a seaside holiday than anything else, but don’t worry in between beach frolics and basking in the sun Josh Hall and Lauren Down managed to catch some bands too.
Expansive, cinematic, transcendent echo-laden harmonies waft through the brisk sea air invading the end of pier venue that is Horatios. Manchester four-piece MONEY are the kind of band that deny instant gratification and instead opt to reward the patient listener, often building tracks without offering any kind of epic conclusion but this only makes it more special when a frenzied break through occurs. LD
Manchester’s music scene has always had something about it, we’re not quite sure what exactly it is but we really hope it doesn’t change if it keep producing bands like MONEY and of course, PINS. The four-pierce tear up Queen’s hotel with their scuzzy, dour yet blistering guitar licks – laying on reverb and delay without restraint before allowing the hypnagogic vocals to take control. LD
There is a certain euphoria and heightened sense of revelation when one of the best bands you see all day is one that has previously just passed you by. That moment when you stand in disbelief thinking “why on earth haven’t I paid more attention to these guys?!” brings with an oddly humble feeling, along with the urge to run and buy the band in question’s entire back catalogue. Well Forest Swords are that band tonight. They manage to do so much with so little, their swirling electronics and delicate guitar strings soaring over beautifully crafted visuals until security guards begin ushering people out of the door. If you ever have the chance to see these Liverpudlians live you would be foolish not to. LD
Koreless kicked off the best three hours of music I have seen in many months. The Scottish producer swaddled Coalition in layers of luminescent bass, gently smothering a small but enthusiastic crowd. Intricately cut vocal samples provide the melodic focal point here, but Koreless avoids the pitch-shifted a capella trope that has become so infuriatingly widespread. Instead he pieces together delicate vistas of suburban life; pictures of near-deserted light industrial hinterlands painted in deep neon. JH
Max Cooper, meanwhile, is in more bombastic mode. His furiously percussive electronica oscillates between Berlin-inflected techno and deep, glistening house, starkly monochrome save for occasional rushes of endorphin-release colour. Each shift of the perfectly constructed synth sounds comes like an open palm to the chest, physical and ecstatic – but it is Cooper’s closing track, a Venetian Snares-esque drillhall freak-out, that provides the most visceral moment of the festival so far. JH