Freinds of Manchester Festival 2010 – Reviews
The performance that local regulars Optional Wallace turn is a beefy one this evening. Supporting their politicised rock with aggressive guitar, militaristic drumming and loose, low bass, they let the music do the talking, each member showcasing their individual talents in turn. The noise they emit fills every inch of the vaulted space with concentrated riffs, shifting rhythms and crashing choruses leaving more than one crowd member mumbling “Placebo” and “early-Manics” in quick succession. “Nobody listens, nobody cares” they emote in exasperation. Those present are not inclined to agree.
Optional Wallace finally go on about half an hour after they were meant to (which compared to last year’s festival is almost early), nailing their colours to the mast literally in the form of a green and gold (United fans against the Glazers) shirt dangling from a cymbal stand – as actually wearing it visibly may have resulted in hypothermia. I know it’s January, but there are these things called radiators… Singer/guitarist Danny Foster has probably kept his heavy coat on for purely practical reasons but it kind of fits with their classic Mancunia (post-Chameleons spec). It’s urgent post-punk indie laced with darkness and claustrophobia, all frenzied drums and thunderous bass – and whilst the fashion for such things may have come and gone again it’s a sound that will never die in this city, it’s in the blood, and they do it a lot better than some more feted practitioners of such (no, no names, this is MM not NME).