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CHASTITY BELT AT YES PINK ROOM

CHASTITY BELT LIVE IN MANCHESTER – WHAT HAPPENED?

American band Chastity Belt are on tour promoting their new album ‘Live, Laugh, Love’. The band who formed in Walla Walla Washington State back in 2012 have four previous albums.

The band emerge onto YES’s very gloomy pink and amber lit stage and its an efficient start with a quick jump into the first track. Its a jangly, Americana Indie, musically alternating between sombre and happy melodic.

‘It Takes Time’ is from the new album and sets the template perfectly for the nigh on hour show thats to come. Understated, slow drum beats, powerful bass lines and two interwoven guitars jangling perfectly together. Vocals shimmer hardly atop their low key instruments with gentle harmonies.

Their sound is downbeat yet uplifting, quiet but a bit loud. It has a contradictory, deep sombre feel that then suddenly shines with exquisite harmony and melody. There’s an almost shoegaze feel (without mountains of volume) to their sound and I find myself quickly warming to them musically and the hour set does in the end seem too short.

Also from the new album, ’Laugh’ hints at a more powerful sound with the band hitting a faster pace with some fuzzed out guitars tastefully in the background adding a bit of grit.

For me ‘Chemtrails’ is outstanding, the insistent sparse guitar riff over a pounding bass line and the introduction of dark and distorted rhythm guitar and darkly tuneful vocals. It hypnotises and there’s large parts of the crowd simply swaying along with eyes closed.

The band engender wholesale singing along and perhaps some of the most tuneful crowd vocals I’ve ever heard, particularly the group just behind me who were so good it added rather than distracted from the band.

‘Different Now’ from their 2017 album ‘I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone’, hits it just right, a gently somnambulistic musical journey that carries you along.  ‘Different Now’ from their 2017 album ‘I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone’, hits it just right, a gently somnambulistic musical journey that carries you along.  ‘I-90 Bridge’ keeps to that almost motorik rhythm, gently surging forward and moving the listener at a gentle pace towards the songs conclusion.

The atmosphere on stage is a happy one with band members smiling at each other frequently and this is shared with the audience during in between chats. They announce they’ve not played Manchester in five years and that last time was also at YES. After asking if anyone was at the last gig they appear genuinely and happily surprised that a huge majority respond with a yes and perhaps the loudest cheers of the night. A dedicated fan bass.

PHOTO CREDIT NEIL WINWARD

REVIEW BY RICHIE YATES

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