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Meryl Streek

MERYL STREEK LIVE AT MANCHESTER PUNK FEST – WHAT HAPPENED?

Manchester Punk Festival returned this bank holiday weekend and played host to some of the finest in some of our city’s coolest smaller venues.

The hotly anticipated act of the weekend (for us anyway) was post-punk spoken word artist Meryl Streek. Streek had a surprisingly early start time of 6:50pm and it was clear that people had the same idea and wear also eager to catch Meryl’s set. Due to the volume of people already crammed into the Bread Shed, the super vigilant security were running a one out one in policy, much to the frustration of the punters in the ever increasing line snaking round the corner of the venue.

For the lucky ones who managed to get inside they were in for a treat. Meryl has played many venues in the city over the last two years, including support PIL at The Ritz, and more recently his own headline show at the Deaf Institute. The success story just continues for as he has recently toured briefly with Enter Shikari on their Irish tour dates.

The set starts off fairly tame, Meryl seems to be sizing up the audience, and appears a little apprehensive, perhaps due to the paparazzi level of photographers that have lined the front of the stage to capture the energetic moments he has become known for. It soon hots up as an innocent beach ball takes the brunt of his frustration and off we go!

The set starts with an audio clip focusing on the abuse by the Catholic Church, it is heavy stuff and quietens the crowd, who are hooked immediately. Streek is not known to hold back and his songs cover the atrocities of child abuse, the state of British politics and rogue landlords, amongst other heavy hitting topics that will never be categorised under easy listening.

Visually the show is a triumph as Streek refuses to stay still, pacing maniacally from one side of the stage to another, occasionally hopping precariously onto a stool to ensure the whole crowd get the full Streek experience.

If Meryl returns next year, I do hope the festival consider putting him further up the bill and in a larger venue. I predict the his rise to the top will continue as he resonates with the masses which is not an easy feat. The feedback on socials has been incredibly positive with many stating that Streek was the highlight of their festival experience…it was certainly mine.

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