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BASHT

BASHT LIVE IN MANCHESTER – WHAT HAPPENED?

The historic Castle Hotel in Northern Quarter was host to Dublin band Basht on Wednesday night,
who sold out the venue despite it being their first time headlining in Manchester in their 3-year
history.

The support act, Juno band, swung into action with a powerful opening of heavy punk rock. The
frontman, hypnotic in his Ian Curtis like stage movements, captivated the growing audience with an
eclectic mix of indie-pop which transitioned to more punchy, solid guitar riffs for their most recent
material. They’ve matured from simplistic melodies to a mod-punk new sound with a stronger, more demanding stage presence. These boys are one to watch as I doubt they’ll go down without a fight.

Despite a delay due to technical issues, Basht took to the stage, offering a much more nuanced start to a deadly silent room, the Manchester indie scene awaiting their submission. The exposed guitar progressions of the instrumental beginning established the bands confidence, they were not afraid to leave us waiting.

Their initial detachment from the audience surprised me, it was soon made clear that the vulnerability we crave as onlookers was all encased within exposed and emotional lyrics, backed with a grunge rock reminiscent of Nirvana. The songs became almost prose, a narrative of varying situations, such as ‘Never Love’ an earlier song of theirs about toxic relationships.

After playing some of the songs which first launched them as a band, they gave us all what we
wanted- a play of their newly released EP ‘Dirty White Lies’. An anthemic collection of well-paired
songs that the audience screamed back to the band, impressive since it was only released one week
prior.

‘Gone Girl’ was a particular favourite of the crowds, hands were in the air as the rhythmic and
repetitive backbone of the drums and bass supported capable vocals of frontman, Jack Leavey. If this song doesn’t launch them on the UK scene I’ll be surprised! This was followed by ‘Dirty White’ which got a similar reception, its headbanging and hip moving nature got the room dancing- difficult in such a small venue!

A quick chat to the guitarist, Sam Duffy, reaffirmed their key aims as a band to make “Irish music for
Irish people”, and despite their major influences of Fontaines DC and Wunderhorse (who they
supported on tour recently), they take a much less political approach, allowing universal
interpretation.

They clearly have the drive to play further afield, their complex lyrical rock proves they have a
confident individuality which would take most artists years to achieve.

WORDS BY BELLA PLATT

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES KEITH

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