The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
June 9 2018
Words/Pictures: Tom Cheetham
My first thought upon arriving at Manchester's Ruby Lounge was that this is a venue that I will definitely be returning to. It portrayed a certain dishevelled glamour as both the performing area and bar are set underground, giving the venue a sense of isolation from the outside world but a feeling of closeness with the performing acts.
Headliners, Macclesfield trio Dandelion Rose, were a band I was previously unaware of, having heard about the gig from my previous contact with Provocateurs. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the band only have a couple of songs available to listen to online; in fact, their debut single ‘Cocktail Bar’ was only released several days earlier (June 2), and tonight's show marks its official launch. Because of this, I was intrigued to see what the band had in store for their performance.
Prior to their evening performance, having a chat with frontman Dan James and bassist James Bracegirdle, I asked them how they would describe their style of music?
"Introspective mixed with an energetic style," says James, emphatically. "We’ve got a duel going on where the more natural stuff is very fucking instant and urgent, but it's also mixed with a lot of introspection with the lyrics, breakdowns of the guitar and stuff like that. So we always try to keep those two bits in tandem with each other."
Midway through their set, they bring out ‘Fire’, which is set to be their next release, they tell me. "We’re releasing a EP as four singles," says Dan. "We’ve got ‘Fire’… ummm do we have names for the other ones?" asks bandmate James. "The next one's called ‘Fire’ anyway, and, yeah, that one's the more urgent and energetic one. That’s the one in the middle of the set that picks everyone up."
The song's instrumental elements pack a punch and send you reeling, and certainly do pick up the crowd's approval. Jake Melling on drums proves to be a key part to this, with his animalistic technique providing much-needed aggression to the song's delivery; every crashing symbol sounds like a clash of waves against rock during a violent tempest.
Although they have been in existence for a couple of years now, Dandelion Rose have perhaps not made as much headway as might have been expected; despite a healthy list of gig outings, it is only now they have released their first record.
"We’ve got the Internet so we can push our stuff out to an ever bigger audience, everyone is, but that’s the point: there’s a risk of it getting saturated which provides extra incentive to do something different, to do something special," James explains. "That’s what bands are trying to do. We have got this bigger audience now, but so does everyone else.
Dan nods in agreement: "That’s why I think that Scruff [Manchester-based promoters, Scruff of the Neck] is a good platform because it kinda gives you that extra step up because they do so many gigs."
Let's hope it gives these three the 'step up' they need.