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  • Abigail Quigley

LIVE: Bandit @ Gulliver's, Manchester

Bandit are the ultimate musical comfort food, with a side of melancholy summer and the angst of post-teen heartbreak, wrapped up in a talented bundle of mind-blowing riffs and ingenious wordplay. They stole the hearts of all those with an appreciation for indie-rock, me included, with their second single, I’d Try Anything Twice, which was a personal godsend to play on repeat during lockdown, concocted with the misery and memories of love and the nostalgia of the summer evenings we all so sorely missed.

After the insane performance of support acts, Blondes and The Juice, the lads made their mark on Manchester last night with their intimate gig at Gulliver’s in the Northern Quarter. The bar provided a homely setting filled with friendly faces and gig-goers unafraid of the Friday hangover. The upstairs venue was the perfect size; the room allowed the gig to be personal, unlike a lot of the larger venues, whilst also being sizeable enough to soak up the electric atmosphere from fans and the band themselves. It’s uplifting to see the boys getting the recognition they deserve after plenty of postponed gigs due to the interference of Covid.

The lads kicked off with Waster, their first single which started their road to success. The contagious energy from the band infected the crowd in seconds, causing an uproar of chanting and dancing. The heat seemed to get a bit too much for lead singer, Nat, who was verbally collared to take his shirt off, which was visibly welcomed by many fans. After a quick wardrobe change (or un-change…) the band amplified the atmosphere once again with one of their newer releases, Would You Push Me in the Nettles? This tune involves a twist on the classic song, The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, which provides a nightmarish yet nostalgic dark edge. The single was met with the cheers and chants of the crowd, bellowing the lyrics back to the band, as expected. It’s only right to mention that I will be unapologetically playing this song on repeat for the foreseeable.

Nat split the gig up with their latest release, Here’s to Being Alive, which is a take on personable spoken word. This performance was received in the heartfelt manner in which it was evidently written, visibly impressing the audience, especially (who I presume to be) a super proud relative at the back of the room. To witness the reactions of this touching recital was a moment I haven’t experienced at previous gigs, and trust me, I’ve been around! The love this received and induced will stay with me for a lifetime.

Bandit are undoubtedly, and insanely, gifted. They are only just getting started on making their mark in the music industry, and they’re doing a fucking fantastic job at it. If last night was anything to go by, I’m certain they’ll soar further into success over the upcoming months, and I look forward to future drunken nights joining the lads on their journey.

So, here’s to the ‘hangovers and comedowns’, to the ‘bad friends and good enemies’, and to Bandit for putting on the performance of a lifetime.

Here’s To Being Alive.

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