Another Friday night, another gig, this time it’s something special. It’s not everyday underrated punk legends pop into the city but Broken Bow have us sorted for this one as the Blackpool unorthodox, innovative, oddities of post-punk The Membranes dove into the Magnet for an all-out blast of a gig.
Firstly opening the proceedings were fun-loving three-piece Salt The Snail with a set picked by the front row (only row?), dancing/running around, throwing Werthers Originals around (“nobody leaves a Salt The Snail show empty handed”) and everything else you want from an opener. They were tight with a messy feel, it was nice.
Quickly following them, Manchester odd rockers SPQR took to the stage for a quick set. The band was tight, unlike anybody else, which is great to see. Motivating them to push with their explosive energy was the fact it was bassist Nick Daniel‘s second-to-last show with the band. SPQR are notably on bills down here a lot, so it’s not hard to see them but who knows where they’ll go with this important departure.
The unknown Decibel provided a delightful segway into the post-punk sound, with a very surprising tight set. The three-piece act’s sound could’ve fit in well with the early ’80s wave of post-punk bands (in-which tonight’s headliners The Membranes were apart of).
Hopefully we’ll be able to catch them again soon, we wouldn’t be too shocked to see Decibel added to the wonderful 02/12 Vibrators bill also at the Magnet.
The headliners The Membranes follow, out with cold frontman John Robb doesn’t at all let it effect him as he greets everyone he can during the opening of their set. The band busts into songs from their stunning reunion album Dark Matter/Dark Energy allowing us to see what they’ve musically been up to since their reunion back in 2009.
Bringing out songs such as “The Hum of The Universe” in-which Robb instructs the audience to sing along which they joyfully oblige, “In The Graveyard”, “Do The Supernova” and the amazing “Space Junk”. During the set, the band playfully interacted with the crowd of Membranes fans, instructing somebody to ask universe questions to the band (including a hilarious “Why does Wrexham exist?” joke by an audience member) and all sorts of other hi-jinks.
The band finished on an unnamed new song which felt more old-school punk than the masterpiece Dark Matter/Dark Energy album, as frontman Robb explained “we have new fans, we need to keep making music”. The band showed way they’re one of the of the best live acts still in the punk limelight.
The band also releases a guest remix album of Dark Matter/Dark Energy in November and it’s amazing, stay tuned for an early full album review in the next few days.