When Macclesfield rockers The Virginmarys tour, Manchester will always be considered their hometown show.

While some bands might feel the pressure of this duo Ally Dickaty and Danny Dolan clearly only felt pure love.

Club Academy was crammed with a crowd sporting more merch T-shirts that a City home match, that proudly sang every word to the entire set. From the earlier releases of Dead Man’s Shoes and Just A Ride to fan favourites, Motherless Land and Bang Bang Bang for the opening encore (with Danny’s new crowd funded Gong being the star attraction) to new tracks from new album Northern Sun Sessions, that has barely been out for a fortnight, including new single Look Out For My Brother, next to be released S.O.S.4.U.N I. and what was clearly a high point for the band when the audience surprised the band by all donning their 3D glasses as an ode to Dolans artwork for the albums title track Northern Sun.

While the audience’s passion for the band and material was undeniable, the feeling was evidently mutual with Dickaty giving constant thanks for the unwavering support they are given and with the latest album seeing The Virginmarys turn away from major label support to regain control on the music they wanted to make the fan support meant that much more.

As a live act the band earns in abundance all the credit they are given. Singer Dickaty has that rare rock voice that can effortlessly break into a full blown growl without losing the tone and melody required to portray the crippling emotions that his sensitively penned lyrics require.

While watching drummer Dolan live will always be a sight to behold, from the dripping sweat, beer splashing from the snare, to the black electrical tape holding together his frayed fingers, Dolan gives everything he has to every song. He has a natural theatrical style which is consistently backed up by floor shaking symbol smashing power that surge the songs outwards towards the back of the venue leaving the audiences eardrums both stunned but satisfied.

Dickaty and Dolan may have created an album for their own creative offering to the dedicated fans, Northern Sun Sessions has the serious potential to be the commercial break through the band have worked so hard for and undoubtedly deserve.

Guest Reviewer: Jo Lowes