Whitehall chiefs had dispatched me to the North for a progress report on Control Of The Going, one of Manchester’s rising psych stars. On the way, a gang of ski assassins tried to ambush me outside Birmingham, but a few blasts from the machine guns mounted on the Aston Martin put pay to them. The location was Soup Kitchen in Manchester’s hipster hotspot The Northern Quarter. After dispatching a few ninja’s and cleaning the blood of my tuxedo, I entered the concrete fallout bunker that doubles as a music venue. They’re fooling no-one, when the bomb drops that’s the place to be.
Control of The Going were headline act and I am pleased to report the year they have spent in the field has shown startling progress.
With three guitars, keys, rhythm section and vocals it has been easy for individuals to be lost in the mix or even to sound as if instruments were jostling against each other for attention. Now though, Control of The Going are managing to get all their instruments to blend together into a whole. They’re not yet at the kind of unity that Helicon achieve, but they’re getting there.
The set was a laid back collection of groovy psych numbers in the vein of their heroes, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, culminating in the cosmic jangle of ‘Star’ and ending with ‘She’ which starts as classic pop before hitting the gas and shooting to a breakneck finish. It’s a good song to end with as the band clear enjoys accelerating through the gears. These kind of tempo changes really help them and taking more trips into the fast lane would certainly help.
Matt’s drumming is just right: vigorous without being overpowering and flashy without being twattish. Moreover, the whole band are clearly now comfortable both on stage and off, they’ve always been happy to mingle and chat with the punters but they look totally at ease on stage now. Liam wears a hat that could only belong to a frontman and happy to take on the focus that such a mighty hat attracts.
The gig, the first monthly psych night organised by Scruff Of The Neck Records was a success, with a healthy crowd and an attractive line up of bands for a fiver. It finished early too, which meant I could hunt down that former KGB operative that now lives in a rented room in Whalley Range. Luckily, that teeth floss that doubles as garrotte came in most handy and I left the assailant face down in the washing up.
With the wheels of the Aston screeching, it was time for the next adventure.
Secret spy images attached: