Gig Review

Vessels, And So I Watch From Afar
Manchester, Academy 3
2nd February 2010
Oceansize                   Vessels              And So I Watch from Afar
And So I Watch You From Afar are a band that I’ve been intending to catch for a while, so it’s a happy coincidence that they are the first opening band for tonight’s headliners Oceansize. The Northern Irish quartet are steadily making a name for themselves as one of the UK’s finest pioneer’s of convention breaking, head fucking rock. Tonight they open with Set Guitars To Kill, and whilst this is only a short thirty minute set, they blind the crowd with their ferocious musical juggernaut.

Vessels have the unenviable job of being the follow-up to And So I Watch You From Afar, yet tonight’s audience have gathered in their masses to see what these Leeds based post-rockers have to offer. Unfortunately, Vessels lack the raw edge that the aforementioned were able to provide by the bucket load. Whilst their musicianship is second to none, and their songs are both intricate and intriguing, there seems to be something missing, and they leave the stage to half-hearted rippling applause.

Oceansize have been flying the flag for Manchester’s underground progressive-rock circuit for over a decade now, therefore it may come as a surprise to many that they are playing to a 250 capacity venue. It may be less of a surprise to find out that this show is a complete sell-out. Mike Vennart and co. know every inch of the Academy 3’s stage, and they use it to their full advantage. Playing small, sticky and sweaty venue’s creates the perfect backdrop for the Oceansize experience.

Tonight’s set is heavily laden with new material, they showcase brand new songs from their eagerly anticipated fourth album, play a selection from their 2009 EP Home & Minor, and a handful of oldies are thrown in just to keep the hardcore fans happy. It never ceases to amaze me how Oceansize can thrash out riff after riff, yet can effortlessly transit to sublime melody and harmony, all within the space of one song.

Oceansize appear truly happy in their home from home, which is the Academy 3. Some bands may not be content with the fact that they are still playing the same venues eleven years down the line, but no band is like Oceansize. Each harmony, each kick of a bass drum, each struck chord is done with feeling. The feeling that Oceansize are not only the best band in Manchester at the moment, but possibly the best band to have ever come out of this fantastic city.

And So I Watch You From AFar - 5/5
Vessels - 3/5
Oceansize - 5/5

Review By Ben Connell


Mike Vennart
Steve Durose
Mark Heron
Steven Hodson


Tim Mitchell (Drums
Martin Teff (Guitar, Bass)
Tom Evans (Guitar, Vocals, Synth)
Lee J. Malcolm (Guitar, Vocals, Drums)
Peter Wright (Guitar, Vocals Keys, Bass)

 And So I Watch You From Afar

Rory Friers (Guitar)
Tony Wright (Guitar)
Johnny Adger (Bass)
Chris Wee (Drums)

 Band Related Links
Oceansize Myspace
Vessels Myspace
And So I Watch You From Afar Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?