Live Review: Spinn, Manchester


31st May 2019, Deaf Institute, Manchester

Words: Kimberley Edmondston-Douse
Photography: Natasha Lloyd

The month of May for Spinn (a fast-rising indie quartet of self-proclaimed approachable lads with extra stylish haircuts) was rather hectic. With the band playing 24 shows in under 30 days at clubs, festivals and HMVs throughout the UK, spanning from as far south as Southampton to as northern as Aberdeen (and yes lads – Scotland really is that big) this was no surprise. They had embarked on this tour to promote their fantastic new debut album – simply titled SPINN – and, despite some poor health and last-minute venue changes, nothing was going to stop this band from putting on their show. To finish their biggest tour to date? A sold-out night at Manchester’s Deaf Institute which was quite fittingly considering the tour also started with a more acoustic relaxed set in the town’s HMV at the start of the month.

But this evening wasn’t meant to be relaxed and calm. This evening was going to be non-stop.

Starting this amazing evening was the band Carpet. While many in the crowd appeared unfamiliar with this band, they still managed to capture the attention of most right from the start, with quite a bit of dancing visible in the still-growing crowd only a few songs into their set. They were a band that were visibly quite new and were perhaps they were nervous at some moments, however you couldn’t tell. They held the stage nicely throughout and managing to create a buzz within the crowd.

Next were Liverpudlian five-piece Monks. Fresh from supporting Fuzzy Sun, the band are establishing themselves as one to watch. Their sound easily make you feel nostalgic, with hazy vocals, trumpet solos and corduroy trousers. Their psych-rock tracks like Why Does Everybody Look the Same? only prove this further. Ironically, the band themselves could not be a worse example of this title, with every member distinctly differing from one another, from their dress to their body language to their haircuts, however still fitting together strongly and perhaps adding to how intriguing they seemed musically. Monks only have a few songs out at the moment, but offer a rather promising future, their new and almost hypnotic single Golf was released only a week ago. They left having made the crowd absolutely ready for what was to come.

In almost no time, Spinn had made their way onto the stage and plunged straight into Shallow, one of the slower songs to make the album but still giving frontman Johnny Quinn a chance to show off his extremely captivating dance moves that he’s become quite well known for. This was immediately followed by the album’s opening track Believed It Or Not. Full of striking melodies, there’s still something very playful about this song. This was implemented more so by Johnny’s almost eccentric dancing and is definitely one of the best songs of Spinn’s to belt out along to, with almost every voice in the room joining in.

Despite being an album tour, it would have felt wrong not to be treated to some of Spinn’s older tunes, starting with some of those from the band’s self-titled EP. It served as a refreshing reminder to both the crowd of around 300, as well as the band themselves of their first Manchester performance to “10 people” and an “awful set”, recalled the band. That couldn’t have been further from what we were seeing on this night, as Johnny danced his way through the next few songs.

Sunshine was a highlight. Easily one of the big summer tunes of this year, the lyrics – when you separate them from the band – seem almost a million miles away from what you’d expect these lads to come up with. Regardless, the group make them flow comfortably and own the track perfectly. No one could stop themselves from being in awe as drummer Louis sang the anthemic closing lines of the song.

Throughout the set it was obvious how close the boys truly are. “Andy told me he can’t wait for the end of the tour so he doesn’t have to see me” remarked Quinn whilst grinning, ruffling his bandmates hair only minutes later. This band had spent a month at each other’s side but this had not drawn them apart in the slightest.

Teasing the next track of the evening, It’s not Getting Better, Johnny describing the band as ‘the Smiths but not racist’. It rang true. The repetition of the line ‘it’s killing me, being here’ contrasted against the jingle-jangly tune, surrounded by flowers thrown onto the stage by adoring fans, it was a rather unmissable comparison (and somewhat fitting to where they were). Despite this, the classic Spinn single still offered something rather unique to what was expected from this Smiths-sound.

Finishing off the night and the tour itself with Notice Me, it was obvious that not a single person in the room wanted to be anywhere else.  Not a single person could resist the temptation to dance. The room was flooded with energy as everyone there screamed the lyrics and broke into a final mosh, all wishing for the moment to never end.

“We don’t do encores” Johnny remarked as the band left the stage. Manchester had been well and truly spunn.

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