While the band name may ring a musical bell deep within my subconscious until I actually Youtubed the band’s name and came across their classic track “Wherever you will go” I was pretty much struggling to identify any songs in my head. After a traumatic few years which saw The Calling frontman Alex Band take a complete break from any music they are back,revitalised and indeed very re-energised. A quite extensive European tour saw them hit I think the only live music venue in Manchester that I have never previously set foot in.Factory or in its abbreviated form Fac 51 is a pure spit and sawdust venue which despite tonight’s bill featuring a total of four bands and a very early doors time of 6pm- still managed to attract a very healthy turnout of Manchester punters on a very cold and wet Monday night.
The diversity of the various bands playing was mirrored in quite a untypical audience-of various ages and styles.
Unfortunately due to some communication issues and the fact that an earlier slotted interview took place when the show had started this resulted in me only catching the latter two bands on the bill.After a chat with frontman Dani from the band Psycho Village I made it downstairs into the venue just as the band took to the stage.
Successful in their country of origin where the band have had three Top 10 singles in the Austrian charts they were completely a new name to me.However like all the bands on the bill this evening each had their own core fanbase,with many appearing to know all the lyrics coming from the stage and meeting them with vociferous and passionate backing vocals . A difficult task to actually put into words how the band sounds sonically – I guess as Dani himself told me pre show they borrow from a variety of influences but put their own unique spin on it to create something unique and also something different. I definitely hope to see them make a return trip to the Uk soon.
It was clear as the evening wore on that the audience makeup quite literally was shifting as a predominantly female audience made their way towards the front for the evenings headliners.It was clear that frontman Alex Band had more than his fair share of admirers-however it would be completely unfair to merely review his looks-I was here for the music Mixing the set with some old Calling songs,together with his own solo stuff the interchange flowed seamlessly from melodic acoustic love songs sitting comfortably beside harder edged rocky numbers. It is good to see someone who has emerged with such vigour from their own mental darkness and come out strongly fighting and shining positively through the other side.While former Calling sidekick Aaron Kamin is no longer aboard ,his replacement Travis Loafman more than holds his own-and while Alex is quite clearly the star of the show-in a three piece playing live everyone truly gets there chance to shine.A very enjoyable night after the harsh weather which battered me en route as I got through that ,bus delays and a double stabbing in Manchester City Centre which did cause transport delays. Overcoming all those obstacles and I was glad that I had made the effort to do so.
The Calling have a few gigs booked so far. Check out the gig dates below:
Sun. 3/1- The Booking Hall in Dover, United Kingdom
Thu. 3/5- Cyprus Avenue in Cork, Ireland
Sat. 3/7- Crown Live in Wexford, Ireland
Wed. 3/11- O2 Academy in Oxford, United Kingdom
Thu. 5/7- Granite State Music Hall in Laconia, New Hampshire (w/Trapt, Smile Empty Soul and Tantric)
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.
Fans can find The Calling at the following locations:
- Photo Credit: Christopher James Ryan Photography
Find Mark Dean at the following locations: