Two Skies and The Phoenix Experiment live at Psychotic Reaction

16 bands for £8 at the Psychotic Reaction all dayer at Gullivers and The Castle? Does Interstellar Overdrive masquerade as Father Christmas in its spare time? Man, I feel like I’ve ripped somebody off.

But what about the bands? From the 8 I saw there were 2 stand-outs:

Two Skies have a big, accessible sound. One thing that struck me is that the songs would sound better in a bigger venue, like the Academy. They have a sheer propulsive thrust kicked out by a rock solid rhythm section. The word that sprang to mind was “driving” and when I grabbed the set list I saw that two of the songs were called ‘Crash’ and ‘Motorway’, so the band is clearly hitting their target. My only quibble / point of concern is that the guitar was smeared with too many effects. With a danceable groove and a pop core, clear guitar riffs would help the song more. Highlights were ‘Stay’ the upcoming single and the extended, ridiculously catchy ‘Hypnotist’. Loaded with potential.

The Phoenix Experiment strike me as being a long-lost Manchester band, they have that dance/rock crossover thing mixed with the era’s trademark swagger. The set seemed to whizz past in a flash which is a good sign. ‘Parasites’ was highly impressive, changing shape and in the middle morphing into an crunching dance smash that wouldn’t feel out-of-place on say, Get Ready by New Order. Very tight as a unit with a confident frontman.

So, two bands to look for when they hit your town…

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