I managed to catch half of support act ANR’s set, which seemed to be going well and I liked what I heard in their synth heavy indie, they also ended with a crowd pleasing Sonic Youth cover.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s set began bizarrely as Ariel Pink told a terrible joke about crack whores which was followed by an extremely uncomfortable silence. Pink then continued with this banter and some beat box noises, this carried on for a couple of minutes but it seemed like a lot longer which gave me a feeling that the gig could end being a shambles.
However once the music started this feeling left me as Ariel Pink’s… alternative take on 70’s and 80’s pop just makes you feel good. Despite taking obvious influence from past decades Ariel Pink’s… show that they have their own sound as well as creating a niche for themselves which makes it difficult to draw comparisons to other bands.
The whole of the set was really good and the band played most of Before Today which was the first studio recorded album having released various material over the years that had been recorded at Pink’s home. Particular highlights were Bright Lit Blue Skies and Round Round which sounded brilliant live. If this was anything to go by then it would be impossible to leave one of their shows unhappy as they managed to make me smile in a gloomy room in Manchester which is not the easiest of tasks.