LIVE: Eureka Machines w/ To The Bones, Tropical Contact

Venue: Gullivers
City: Manchester
Release Date: 28th March 2014
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LIVE: Eureka Machines w/ To The Bones, Tropical Contact

Friday night on pay day is likely to go one of two ways in Manchester. Either hordes of make-up caked zombie Barbies will descend and create a horrific bar backlog with their desire for juniper and sesame oil daiquiris or we’re all going to go to the local, sink a few ales and listen to some great rock and roll. Fortunately, because Eureka Machines are in town, tonight is very much the latter.

Last time they headlined in Manchester a relatively meagre crowd turned up at Satan’s Hollow to watch EM. This time out, it’s a sell out upstairs in Gullivers and first on the bill are Huddersfield party rockers Tropical Contact. Despite some pretty contrasting style choices amongst the band members, the boys are as tight as an emo’s spray-on legwear, and when a band dedicate a song called ‘Nightmare Baby’ to the recent birth of a friend’s child, you know you’re in safe hands. Playing pop-rock laced with hooks and melodies that really should be getting more mainstream attention, TC are superb fun and get proceedings off to a raucous start. It’s the sign of a truly committed band when each member of the six-piece can be seen singing along whether they’ve got a mic or not, and this coupled with a storming cover of Huey Lewis classic ‘The Power of Love’ ensures everyone has a new favourite band tonight.

Bolton crew To The Bones follow and are another reason to continue to believe in the power of live music. This four-piece have been plugging away for the best part of a decade in one form or another and play some epically enjoyable power grunge that isn’t a million miles away from God Damn‘s brand of 90s-influenced noise. To The Bones have a way of combining scuzzy riffs, galloping bass and brutal drums into a beautifully honest sound that is evident in the Manic Street Preachers-approved ‘Rex’. ‘Martian Motherfucker’ meanwhile wouldn’t sound out of place in a Nirvana setlist, whilst the insistent ‘Emperor’s Ride’ is guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away and tonight it’s dealt a damn good thrashing by the band.

If there’s one thing you need to know about Eureka Machines, it’s the fact that they’re a bunch of stylish bastards. Hitting the stage in their trademark black shirt/white tie combos, they’re into the anthemic ‘Champion The Underdog’ before you’ve had time to put your pint glass down and join everyone else in getting your arms aloft in celebration. The relentless ‘Being Good Is Okay, But Being Better’s Better’ and the multi-faceted ‘The Story Of My Life’ enter the fray next followed by the familiar intro of ‘Affluenza’ and its stop-start dynamic which sees some excellent gurning from the entire band. The songs are all lyrically brilliant, telling tales of everyday life in such a beautifully honest yet tongue-in-cheek way that you can’t help but smile, whilst the music backs it all up by going back to the simplicity of what made pop so, well, popular decades ago.

‘These Are The People Who Live In My House’ and ‘Love Yourself’ continue this trend and by the time we get the rabble-rousing “oh oh oh”s of ‘(I’m) Wasting My Time (Yet Again)’ the crowd are eating out of the palm of frontman Chris Catalyst’s hand. The opening duo from latest album Remain In Hope, ‘Good Guys Finish Last’ and ‘Pop Star’ are further David v Goliath classics and as the fifth Eureka Machine, Mike, joins the band for a closing ‘Zero Hero’, you know there’ll be some dodgy knees in the morning from all the energetic jumping about witnessed left, right and centre.

As Catalyst signs off with thanks that we’ve all been out to see his “stupid little band” tonight, he couldn’t be further from the truth. Bands like EM are life-affirming and vitally important, proving that you don’t have to be topping the charts to mean so much to so many people. There is no filler tonight, this is already a greatest hits set of absolute pop-rock genius. Ignore Eureka Machines at your peril.

LIVE: Eureka Machines w/ To The Bones, Tropical Contact, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Posted by Nick Spragg | 07 Apr 2014 | Gig Reviews, Reviews