No Hot Ashes, Club Academy, Manchester

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I’ve seen No Hot Ashes many times over the past couple of years, as a support band,at festivals and as head liners in their own right, but tonight its different.

Manchester’s Club Academy is completely sold out and has been for weeks, Twitter and Facebook have been awash with desperate requests for tickets.

Arriving in the foyer its like I’ve walked into a school trip, as hundreds of teenagers dressed in their best outfits, mill around making the sort of noise only teenagers can,its loud! This 14-17 age group is No Hot Ashes fan base, but unlike most bands with fans this age, the split here is 50/50 male/female, no way can NHA be considered a boy band. When the doors open there is almost a stampede to reach the barrier at the front, such is the devotion that NHA inspire amongst their loyal fans.

Two support bands FOXE and Courtyards, keep the crowd entertained until NHA arrive and both are much appreciated as a party atmosphere prevails in the venue with security struggling to control crowd surfers.

At 9.30 the crowd erupts as the band saunter on to the stage and launch into their own brand of highly danceable funk. Often described as post disco funk, this is post nothing, its now music, music to dance to, which is exactly what the crowd do with wild abandon. Most of the set is well known to the crowd songs like Skank, Bellyaches and Easy Peeler have been staples of the set for a while but newer tracks such as Eight Till Late from the latest EP Skint Kids Disco receive the same adulation.

After being together as a band since 2012 the band know each other inside out and the pounding rhythm section of Jack Walsh and Matthew Buckley are a perfect accompaniment for the guitars of Luigi De Vuono and Isaac Taylor. With the distinctive vocals of Isaac and the recent introduction of a small horn sections NHA are now a classic funky dance band.

The evening reaches a climax with the almost legendary track Goose which sees a crowd eruption resulting in a stage invasion much to the chagrin of the security staff. It is however all very good natured with smiles all round , a testament to a great gig at which a good time was had by all.

On the back of this gig NHA are already confirmed for the bigger Academy 2 on March 31st and with a album on the way it may be advisable to get your tickets now as No Hot Ashes are going places.

That my first ever gig was The Who at Belle Vue which shows how long I've been going to gigs. However despite always being interested in photography it's only in the last few years I've been fortunate enough to shoot gigs.

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