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Mac Demarco Victoria Warehouse, Manchester review

Henry Lewis joined the Now Wave 10th Birthday celebrations at a sold out show headlined by slacker rock sensation Mac Demarco.

Henry Lewis

Date published: 31st Oct 2018

Image: Coley Brown

Now Wave's commitment to bringing a diverse, exciting and wonderful array of musical talent to Manchester has been a crucial part of the City's cultural tapestry, and this year celebrated their ten year anniversary by once again securing the talents of an artist who is without doubt an unwavering favourite amongst Now Wave's loyal fanbase, none other than Mac Demarco.

Now Wave's continued impact on the Manchester live scene have seen them just this year bring the likes of Shame, Tom Misch, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Japanese Breakfast and loads more to the city, while also once again curating a stage at Parklife Festival and perhaps most impressively of all, opened a new Manchester music venue and bar, YES, an already immensely popular nightspot for music lovers.

It was only just less than a year ago that Mac Demarco last visited Manchester, touring his much loved 2017 third album This Old Dog across a heap of UK shows, however this year the Canadian singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist, came to a sold out Victoria Warehouse as part of just three UK dates of an Autumn 2018 tour that has already seen him grace a heap of European countries such as Russia, Latvia, Germany, Belgium and more.

A four strong bill also saw Jackie Cohen, The Garden and local favourite Aldous RH (more on him later) take to the stage in support of Mac and co, each delivering something different from the next on a wonderfully eclectic night, be it seductive grooves, shimmering indie rock, or dooming poetry.

Mac himself leant from his now vast discography, opening with the woozy melancholy of 'On The Level', with the tempo then quickly shifted with track two 'Salad Days, cueing an immense early sing a long.

Throughout the night Mac whooped and hollered in trademark fashion, and his equally adored band seemed in a typically relaxed and frivolous mood, with faces caked in spooky make up while demanding the crowd to throw sunglasses on stage for the band to wear (which was done obligingly).

Aside from his studio releases, Mac also dipped into 2015 E.P Another One, delivering from it the title track and 'No Other Heart', plus long time fans were treated to very early material in the form of 'Rock and Roll Night Club'.

Of course though, it wasn't all deep cuts and album tracks with the band rattling through best loved numbers such as "Chamber of Reflection', 'My Kind Of Woman, 'Freaking Out The Neighbourhood', 'This Old Dog' and heaps more in a set that packed a massive amount of songs into around an hour and a half time frame.

After (sort of) bringing the night to a close in typical fashion on 'Still Together', the obligatory covers section that precedes the final chorus wasn't left out and saw Aldous RH step on stage with the band to take lead vocals on Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name Of' and 'Heart Shaped Box' by Nirvana, before guitarist Andy White delivered an impassioned mayor speech and trio of covers of his own, before lending the mic to drummer Joey for yet more renditions of tracks including 'Under the Bridge' - in typically sloppy fashion.

With a final chorus, and an encore of 'Watching Him Fade Away', the night was over at Victoria Warehouse at least - with an after party at YES (where else?), with Mac in attendance it was the perfect celebration to Now Wave's continued excellence. Here's to another decade.