Review of The Longcut live at Moho in Manchester on November 6th.
It's little surprise that The Longcut find themselves performing to a half-empty Moho tonight - less than a month since their last gig in their hometown and faced with the homecoming set of Mancunian troubadour Liam Frost within spitting distance, the 1st Birthday of local promoters Indigo is hardly a high priority for the punters in a damp and grim autumn Manchester. For those who are present, the band are in reliably effervescent form, bursting at the seams with the steaming electro-indie of which The Music always seemed so intent on falling short; debut album highlight A Quiet Life is an unrestrained disco monster, singer Stuart Ogilvie's breathless chants filling the gaps between his infrequent lurches behind the oft-vacant drum kit, while Repeated's trembling synths are pure Four Tet, shimmering and shaking before Lee Gale's guitar grasps at the limelight.
Ogilvie's sporadic drum lines are more unsettling than imposing however; too brief to fully complement their stark electro, his trips to the drum stool and back again merely leave a gulf where the presence of a vocalist belongs. It's a shame, because when their frantic Departure-esque New Wave cedes to the explosive, sprawling techno that's become their stock in trade since their earliest EP releases, his gruff vocal additions are sorely missed. Setting them up as an angry northern Rapture, the disco groove laid down by Jon Fearon's bass is the biggest revelation, like a parka-clad Dave Allen gliding beneath the likes of Evil Dance and Open Hearts. Based on the magnitude of Fearon's performance alone, it's clear The Longcut's expansive sound is one befitting venues double Moho's size and could arguably challenge Kasabian's meteoric rise, given the chance.