Festival Review – Manchester Psych Fest 2021

Manchester Psych Fest is a very useful and valuable festival to have on our doorstep, for me personally it’s a time to venture into the world of psych and broaden our music horizons, It’s a time to mingle, it’s a time to discover new bands.

I’ll get a couple of things out the way before I kick off with the music, the length of the queue to pick up your pass was mental, I don’t know why wrist bands cant be posted pre-gig to cut this out if there’s a reason for this ill stand down and understand but it felt unnecessary, the event felt oversubscribed, the queues were ridiculously crammed at times, if you went for a smoke at the ritz you had to join the massive queue again to get back in which was annoying, very annoying.

Take those things out and the whole event was fantastic.

Everyone I chatted to around the venues, values this festival, and is passionate about psych, the music community came together and shared a cracking day together.

My day started off early down at Gorilla to get my first watch of Loose Articles.

What an intro, and what a lovely racket this band makes! The drummer thumped me in the chest as she created a sonic boom of noise through the PA!

A set full of angst, anger, and disco, dedicating their set to the late John Hall was a lovely touch as he was a fan of the band they had the heaving gorilla crowd in the palm of the hands, I remember thinking to myself after the gig, how are the other bands I watch today going to top that. My new favorite live band!

I shuffled over to The Ritz after this to catch Porridge Radio

When I told my rather snobby music mate that I was going to watch the band he told me I would hate them, I’m sure he thinks that I only listen to Oasis and think everything else is shite but he couldn’t be more wrong!

(I’m aware that the last line could have been left out but hey ho. It happened.)

I know they had to cancel their show at Sheffield’s Tramlines festival for covid reasons recently so I think this was their first show back. Porridge Radio took to the stage to a rammed Ritz crowd.

The crowd was mesmerised by the performance and joined the band on a sonic journey through their stunning shoe-gazing set.

📸 Credit Helen Millington

I hung around at the Ritz for the next band PINS

I’ve not seen them live for ages, probably was their gig supporting The Slow Readers Club at the Apollo and was excited to see them live.

Singer Faith knows how to work the stage, leading the band through their set.

It looks like the band has had a slight lineup change again too which is interesting. The whole band powered through hard synthy power tunes, the set seemed to fly by, I’m sure it was like 5 mins, a true sign that time flies when you are having fun! Pins are on top form and we recommend you catch them on their current tour!

📸 Credit Helen Millington

Next up was a little walk over to YES I had no idea who was on so was looking forward to just seeing who was on and checking them out.

I went upstairs to the pink room and Mandrake Handshake walked onto the stage, an eclectic-looking group took to the stage and presented the rammed sweaty Yes crowd with an amazing introduction and immediately grabbed everyone’s attention.

I really enjoyed their set and I’m currently spinning their tunes on my phone as I type this. Another band to embrace and catch live again soon!

I then headed back to the Ritz to see what was going.

Partway through their set, I walked in to be welcomed by Whyte Horses They were playing a cover which always puts me off a band, they definitely put on a show though and the crowd was enjoying it, something didn’t connect with me with this band, I can’t quite put my finger on why either, I need to give them another chance so ill be catching them live again soon.

The big finale of our day came next. GIRL BAND came onto the stage, WOW, what a band, this was my first experience of seeing them live.

Hypnotic, manic, exciting are all words id describe their set.

I’ll be following this band and buying tickets forever, gonna get a T-shirt or two n all! Totally got lost in the vibe and came out the other side with a different outlook on life!

Overall my whole experience of Manchester Psych Fest was enjoyable, I can’t wait to do it again someday, id urge you to get in quick on the early bird tickets for 2022, we will see you there!