IST IST – live in Manchester, what happened?

Ist Ist are currently recording a debut album after the successful release of ‘The Spinning Rooms’ (2018) and ‘Everything is different now’ (2019). Tonight they played the pink room at Yes in Central Manchester along with support bands, Fears and Sylvette.

Fears are the first to play, the Sheffield band offer poppy guitar riffs, angelic vocals and pleasing vocal harmonies which complimented the melodic keys and heavier guitar sections. The crowd gave the band a warm reception but I felt that they weren’t really offering anything different enough to capture my attention fully.

Next up we’re Sylvette who unusually had a keys/ violin player which gave them a folky edge, along with falsetto almost operatic vocals, reminding me of Jeff Buckley more and more as the set progressed. The confident and aesthetically pleasing frontman, with his long hair definitely captured the attention of many of the females in the audience. The crowd seemed bemused at the start of the set as the band seemed an odd choice to support but received a great reception from the much busier room by the end of the set.

But tonight was of course about Ist Ist and looking around the room at the sea of T-shirt’s, the bands arty modernist aesthetic is obviously loved by their fans almost as much as their music and is designed by bassist Andy. Even every single band members has a tattoo of their logo. The merch table was the busiest I’ve seen for a long time.

The band begin with two new tunes, ‘Wolves’ and ‘Your mine’, and as soon as Adam begins to sing you feel the emotion and intensity he spits out into the crowd. ‘You’re mine’ goes down particularly well with the hardcore fans.

I was particularly struck with bass player Andy, always dressed from head to toe in black, almost dragging his fender precision bass across the floor as he plays. His bass playing is melodic, exceptional and I could hardly tear my eyes away from him throughout the set.
Another new tune ‘Discipline’ is particularly striking with Andy’s urgent angry delivery of the lyrics and the crowd passionately sing every word of what has become a long term favourite anthem Emily.

The band end the set with ‘Diversion’ but the crowd want more and aren’t leaving until they get it and long term favourite ‘Nights Arm’ finishes the set to cheers throughout the packed out pink room.
The lads delivered a fantastic and memorable show, they are engaging, almost hypnotic performers and musicians and they deserve a much bigger stage, I’m sure that from the reaction from tonight’s crowd that there are great things ahead for Ist Ist and so there should be.

Photo Credit – BB Videography Manchester

Music journalist