Full to the gills with Sunday roast and dreading work on Monday already, it’s time for your humble reviewer to round off the weekend with yet another trip to YES Basement to take in local (well, Leigh IS pretty local to Manchester) heroes DeafDeafDeaf, with support provided by Manchester-based Chemtrails and up and coming Nottingham folk, Bloodworm.

Bloodworm was Formed in June 2021 and comprised Euan Stevens on drums, Chris Walker on Bass and George Curtis on Guitar/Vocals.  Bloodworm take a trip to the blacksmiths and forge Goth, Punk, Shoegaze and Alt-Rock into set of  Cure/Siouxsie/Ride shaped horseshoes that they nail to your feet before taking you for a 200-furlong steeplechase.  As readers of my earlier reviews will testify, your humble reviewer DOES like a bit of Goth, but whilst there are familiar sounds coming out of the speakers, they’re definitely more than Seventeen Seconds long (yes, I KNOW… sorry) – these chaps aren’t merely Cure wannabees, far from it. They take the sounds that shaped the lives of folk of a certain age, but which have found new fans in subsequent generations too, and weave them into their own songs and world.

Supporting rising bands like The Lounge Society and LIFE at sold-out gigs in Nottingham has clearly given them some confidence and a few songs in, George asks the crowd to move in closer, which we’re happy to do, as Chris’s bass Gallups (yes, I KNOW…) urgently and you can almost believe that the spirit of Siouxsie is hovering somewhere close by too. As Alone in Your Garden draws to a close, George states that “It’s very nice playing in Manchester – I feel like people actually like music round here – we played in (insert a midland town) and everyone just kind of looks at you”. Bloodworm may have to take on tougher crowds closer to home, but within the gloomy confines of YES Basement, they’re made to feel more at home as the set progresses. Cemetery Dance is a little lighter, but not by much – Bloodworm isn’t out to raise a smile, other than one of appreciation, which I’m happy to give them as Chris’s bass Hook(y)s continue to chime out and Euan’s drums clatter enthusiastically from the darkness of the rear of the stage, holding it all together. I could cheerfully (well, maybe not THAT cheerfully, but for all the right reasons) listen to this lot for another hour, which says something about an opening band and the crowd seem to agree with me as the set draws to a close. Go see Bloodworm – tonight they made an old Goth very happy (and only two low-quality bass puns, too).

Bloodworm played Bloodlust, Deaths, the Back of a Hand, Faction, Alone in Your Garden, Twist and Tort, Cemetery Dance and Clarevoiance


Comprising long term partners Mia Lust and Laura Orlova on vocals and guitar, Ian Kane on Bass, Liam Steers on drums and  Richey on keyboards, Lust and Orlova are the surviving members of the original 2016 line-up, now relocated from London to God’s Own City (well, it IS, so there…), Chemtrails describe themselves as the purveyors of  “Acid-corroded garagepunk worship songs for a post-apocalyptic world – daft but deep”. I’m sold already. They’ve already featured on Radio 1, Radio 6 and KEXP as part of their International Clash Day celebration in London, and managed to snag themselves a record deal with Swedish label PNKSLM after just one gig at Trans Pride in Brighton. Served up on a bed of fuzzy guitars, they target such themes as alienation, love, the human condition, the impending apocalypse and occasionally Mia’s place in the world as a transgender woman, so, they’re clearly not short on ideas. They’ve built up a die-hard following and released five  critically-acclaimed DIY records, most of which were recorded in their living room, with four tracks selected as KEXP’s “Song of the Day”. Their bio states that their biggest influences include the Pixies, Blondie, Oh Sees, Fat White Family and sixties psych and garage punk, so tonight’s set promises to be both diverse and interesting.

They’re certainly a different proposition to Bloodworm as they open their set with a rollicking Blurred Visions with Mia and Laura sharing vocals, harmonies and exchanging smiles at an pleasing frequency as Richey sternly picks at the keyboard, visually channelling Nick Rhodes, Vince Clarke and A Flock of Seagulls’ Mike Score all at the same time.

There are none of the accustomed setlists on the floor, so when it comes to Death Cult, nobody is quite sure what song comes next, but it’s finally (and optimistically) introduced as being from their upcoming album, hopefully this year, which raises a cheer from the crowd, who are moving ever closer to the stage. I get scents of the Go-Go’s with an essence of the B52s, whose enforced zaniness never really sat well with me at the time, but in these surroundings, it’s just right. A potential disaster mid-song in the form of a broken string is thankfully rescued by the presence of a backup guitar, so all is well. The set continues, channelling all sorts of influences from surf pop to Debbie Harry-tinged punk, but the overarching image is of folk having fun, which is exactly what you want to see on a wintery Sunday evening. Set closer Eternal Shame hits a false start with the loss of the snare drum, without which, we’re assured, the song doesn’t work, but the break in proceedings allows for a sneaky merch plug, which is no bad thing. Go see these fine people – they’ll make you smile, which is also no bad thing.

Chemtrails played (and it says so on a gorgeous setlist written in lipstick on a paper plate just for me – thank you!) Blurred Visions, Saint Vitus, Death Cult, Frightful in the Sunlight, Uncanny Valley, A Beautiful Cog in the Monolithic Death Machine and Eternal Shame.


Fresh from a triumphant appearance at The Supersonic in Paris mid-January followed by a headline gig at Heartbreakers in Southampton, The DeafDeafDeaf take to the stage with a real sense of purpose, armed with a healthy  catalogue of work and teasing us with the promise of new songs too. This is their first Manchester headline since The Castle Hotel, scene of the video for One by One (in whose dying seconds your not-so-humble reviewer made a fleeting appearance) whilst 2022 saw important plays from Craig Charles on Radio 6, more than a passing interest from BBC Introducing and let’s not forget continuing support from Dermot De Faoite’s Monday night Indie Rocks Radio show. DeafDeafDeaf have continued to build up support both in the North West, across the UK and across to the Netherlands, even acquiring a FB fan page (“The Auditory”) along the way, and touring with artists such as Lumer, Shameless, Autosuggestion, even finding time to fit in a DJ set at Night and Day. Busy fellows for sure, inevitably tarred with the post-punk brush, also with “post-hardcore” tag, but preferring to call themselves “Post something”, coming from Leigh gives DeafDeafDeaf a slightly different perspective to those living it up down the road in that there Manchester.

August saw the release of The Milsbeek Live Sessions, recorded in the Netherlands, whilst the band were touring Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, which shows them in a more reflective mood and showing a more thoughtful side to them than you might have expected.  On that basis tonight’s set, to be delivered by Nathan Hill on vocals, Ellis Whittle on bass, Jack Findlay and Louis Grayson on guitar and Connor Alder on drums, certainly promises to be interesting.

At risk of throwing in the C(hameleons) bomb way too early in the review, Jack and Louis’s insistent guitars take your reviewer by the throat and drag him back to Strange Times and if you add some essence of Puressence, the evening gets off to a fine start with Sweet Thing. Nathan’s vocals have developed and matured over the number of occasions on which I’ve seen DDD and there are definite undertones of Weller from angrier days lurking in there if you open your ears. Nothingness is a stormer of a track with the frantic delivery of Killing Joke or early Warsaw/Joy Division with Nathan’s vocals rising to a yowl of despair.

The crowd are fully engaged early into the set, responding with a cheer to Nathan’s “How’re we doing, Manchester?” as Milsbeek, metronomically driven by Ellis’s bass and Connor’s drums (the latter of whom admitted to being a bit nervous before the gig – he needn’t have worried) booms out. City Song slows the pace a little (but not much) and those guitars are there again taking you… well, just somewhere. Nathan pauses to thank Bloodworm and Chemtrails and also Cal Moores of Loose Fit for putting the whole event together – it’s easy to forget sometimes that a lot more folk are involved in a gig in addition to the bands themselves – it’s no mean feat.

There’s an earnestness about their music that’s hard to ignore – guitars, bass and drums pound out as Nathan grasps his beer and his mic with equal intensity, throwing himself around the stage like a man possessed. You know that they mean every single word of the songs that cover frustration, anger and desperation. The spirits of Manchester bands from times past flicker in the dim light of YES Basement, but DeafDeafDeaf have their own agenda and their own unique and uncompromising way of delivering it.

As the 40 minutes of mayhem begin to draw to a close with a debut outing for new song “Totally in Love”, there is the inevitable promise of new merch (“30 tees, tonight only”) to which I will inevitably head towards like a moth to a flame. The merch table is my mistress, I shall not resist. Surely totes, vinyl and tees will drain my bank, all the days of my life. But then why wouldn’t you? With the last bars of mosh-inducing fan favourite, “One by One” drifting away, there’s just about time to see if The Auditory has gained any more members after my and my significant other’s all out flyer assault on the toilets – it’s important to help grass roots music by whatever means possible, but whilst DeafDeafDeaf are a self-made band, like so many of their contemporaries, they still need all the help they can get. Please be one of the people who lends them an ear (yes, I had to get ONE reference in, didn’t I..?) Go see them and bask in their wordplay, power and honesty – you really won’t regret it.

DeafDeafDeaf played Sweet Thing, Nothingness, Milsbeek, City Song, Auto Love, Bodies, Fears, Spectre, Song 5, Totally in Love and One by One