Manchester’s MONEY incite religious devotion and play a genuine were you there kind of night at Leaf, Getintothis’ Nick Lodge bows down to Bella Union’s new princes.
If the love of Money is the root of all evil, we’re all going to hell in a handcart.
Money is a band to sell your soul for. The last time Getintothis felt like this was the first time we saw Savages. Yes, that good. But emphatically different.
Earlier, we were intrigued by Tear Talk‘s endearingly callow set, with vocal hints of The xx, and spidery Banshees guitar lines they’ve strong potential and they tribal low-end understated rhythms mark them out from much of their Merseyside peers.
Tear Talk at Leaf Tea Shop
Similarly, By The Sea maintained their upward trajectory, with a set consisting entirely of new songs that seemed bigger, deeper, more ambitious. Joe Edwards‘ keys oozing into a sequence of Daniel O’Connell bass runs while lead singer Liam Power‘s breathy whisper has transformed into a deeper, post-punk baritone. It’s early days for this new set of ideas, but we’re hooked and eager for more.
A lone voice cuts through the between-band crowd murmurings, singing of paradise lost and found. The crowd falls silent, taken slightly aback, its attention well and truly caught.
Self-described ‘fallen angel’ Jamie Lee makes his way through the audience, embracing strangers as long lost friends, a preacher man greeting his flock. This is brave stuff. This is certainly not going to be an average gig. To be honest, Getintothis suspect ‘average’ doesn’t figure in their lexicon of love and life.
Money’s Jamie Lee takes to tables during his preacher man opening at Leaf
With everyone now hanging on the singer’s every word and deed, the band take the stage and introduce us to their full sound. A wonderfully atmospheric melange of Storm In Heaven-era Verve at their most psychedelic, Arcade Fire‘s driving intensity, Joy Division‘s more ethereal moments. And 10cc.
Bella Union‘s latest addition to its increasingly impressive roster is aiming high, and with such fearlessness. The crowd is agog. Despite the lack of any groove, people are dancing. Perhaps they’re dancing for joy.
Because any singer that can put together a series of ‘oh’s and the occasional ‘who’s gonna love you now?‘ and make it seem like the last word of God has got to be worth celebrating.
Money at Leaf in Liverpool
The Verve influences are only hinted at, perhaps in the epic feel of the songs, rather than anything as simple as volume. This band has belief and in Charlie Cocksedge, Billy Byron and Scott Beaman they have a set of players that are confident to let their charismatic leader take centre stage while letting rip into near-12 minute liquid-like jams.
In his poetry, Lee has referred to himself as a ‘crooked Messiah’, someone looking to take the audience to another plane, away from the grubbiness of the real world. He succeeds, making us feel special, hopeful, full of faith.
We guess the real genius though, is in putting all that to music that can, and will, make you believe in something again. Bathed in blue, they conjure a spacey, rocky sound, while simultaneously creating an intimacy worthy of the greatest festival campfire singalong you never had.
Guitars and synthesisers combine to pick the loveliest moments of favourite bands and transform them into something new. Songs and tunes emerge from this groundswell of musical elements, before dazzling you in their fully formed glory. We’re a convert. We need to hear these songs again, and soon. August, when their debut album, The Shadow of Heaven, appears, seems along way off right now.
But in the end, you need to see them, and this preacher man, perform.
Playing with stage convention, he ditches the mic when the mood takes him, kisses band-mates, grins cheekily at the crowd, and leaves the stage to deliver the last song from the dancefloor.
It may be the alcohol, but this really does feel special, and we’re all made to feel a part of it.
Money are out there, musically and philosophically. Are you brave enough to follow them into the wilderness?
Pictures by Getintothis’ Gaz Jones.