Photo: Abi White
The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
August 20 2016
Words: Abi White
Having only announced last week that they would be on the bill for Reading and Leeds festival this coming weekend, Jordan Allen are playing their largest show to date here in Manchester's Ruby Lounge. It's a very exciting time for the Bolton-based four-piece.
As the audience began to fill the underground venue, it feels almost as if this is a trophy gig for families, friends and fans alike to celebrate the band's growth to success over the past year. And what better way to celebrate than with the band hosting their largest gig to date in their hometown city.
The evening opened with an acoustic performance from the delightful soul vocalled Laura Esther, before the launch of upbeat guitar riffs teamed with catchy melodies were introduced by supporting band, Saytr Play. Although the crowd were mild during the initial few songs from the latter, they managed to seduce the crowd. Dancing and clapping along to the band's upbeat melodies, most of the audience had become involved with their set, whilst frontman Fred Farrell embarked into the audience to sing for a short while.
It's not such a rarity for a headlining band to have a good supporting band, but it's not every day a supporting band can encourage the audience to be lively and become involved in songs they have never heard before. Saytr Play really pulled this off, and will more than likely have gained followers from delivering this captivating and enjoyable performance.
Describing themselves as ‘refreshingly real rock 'n' roll', Jordan Allen (named after their 21-year-old vocalist, along with fellow band members Danny Quin, Nathan Howard and Kieran Loughran) took to the stage shortly after, starting off with ‘The Boy That Time Forgot'. This was a perfect opener to the set and really eased the audience in nicely to the evening that would follow.
Well-crafted lyrics brandished from the outset, it's no surprise to see why critics have likened the band to Arctic Monkeys and Jake Bugg. Undoubtedly, fans of these kinds of artists will relate to Allen's songs, however, it's unfair to pigeonhole the band when they also offer a lot more, with the songwriting skills of Mr. Allen being nailed to near perfection.
Allen himself is also someone to be reckoned with, with his typically northern, friendly onstage charisma that will only further the success of the band; chatting at ease with fans between songs and introducing his comically named new guitar, 'Rita the Gretsch', to all.
‘Too Much Too Soon', released in May this year, stood out as a particular favourite with a catchy chorus line, before the more recent ‘White Lines' and ‘Helter Skelter'. The three provide an exciting taste of ‘refreshing rock 'n' roll' and what might else be in store from this band over the course of the next 12 months. 'Rosie', likewise, drew crowd singalongs when probably still many reading this review have not even heard of the band yet (despite their having been around for three years), never mind knowing their songs by rote.
The band's set in its entirety consisted of a variety of songs written through the years (and not forgetting inflatable pink flamingos), dating back to earlier songs such as ‘Remembered,' ‘Daydreamer's Girlfriend' and ‘Set In Stone', which became the concluding song of the evening.
Jordan Allen are a band to check out this weekend should you be at either the Reading or Leeds site; and if you're at neither, they're still definitely one to keep an eye on and check out when next at a venue near you.