Written for The Music Fix.
‘Gigs are give and take, you know? Like sex,’ Mish Way tells the Soup Kitchen’s sparse mid-week audience. Not known for her reserved nature, she is quick to call the audience out on stiff ‘British’ behaviour and threatens to come down and run around to get some movement going. That threat – it’s certainly taken as a threat by the reserved members of the audience – works, and suddenly there’s more energy in the room and a considerable amount more noise as Vancouver’s White Lung begin working their way through songs from their Domino label album Deep Fantasy.
Volume is the weapon, Way screams down the microphone while the rest of the group thrash at their instruments. Their blitzkreig punk assault takes hold and they barely pause for breath. There are casualties though: their touring bass player has to stop half way through and change the set list because she’s ‘shredded her fingers’.
The performance builds as they exhaust the new album; a sprinkling of older tracks pad things out. Done and dusted after just 40 minutes is punk enough, but the half-hearted calls for an encore go unheeded. White Lung are done with Manchester. Manchester, in turn, could be home and in bed by ten o’clock.
White Lung: a solid spoonful of f-cough medicine on a dark November night, but like a lover spurned, they may never forget how we treated them.