There must be something in the water in America at the moment, because some of the best new bands I’ve seen in the past year or so have been American.

The Coathangers, The Nude Party, Pinky Pinky, Vera Sola, Dan Mangan (ok, he’s Canadian), Laura Gibson, the list goes on, have all been superb, and yet some have played to relatively small crowds, which is disappointing when they’ve traveled all that way to entertain us, especially when you consider some of the mediocre bands who can sell out arenas and stadiums.

So it was nice to see that Tacocat’s Manchester show was sold out!  By rights they should be selling out big venues, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Tacocat are a pop-punk  4 piece from Seattle – Emily Nokes, Eric Randall, Bree McKenna, and Lelah Maupin.  Although I personally only discovered them a few months ago, they have been around for a while, but recently signed to the legendary Sub Pop label.

Their current LP, This Mess is a Place is an instant classic – if you were to sit down and listen to it for the first time, trying to figure out which tracks would be released as singles, you’d struggle as every track is a bone-fide gem, accessible but never shallow.

Live they put on a superb show, with every member of the band individually and collectively giving it their all, and great to watch.

Lead singer Emily and drummer Lelah give a dazzling over-the-top (in a good way!) performance, whilst guitarists Eric and Bree are slightly more subdued, and the contrast works really well.  From a photography point of view the band kept me on my toes as there was an abundance of great photo opportunities.  Sadly Eric was standing in a particularly dark part of the stage and I struggled to get a good shot of him.

It was a hot night in Manchester, I was sweating in Gullivers before people even started turning up, so was dreading the room filling up, but the bands were so good, that the heat didn’t even bother me!

I heard a rumour that Tacocat may be heading back to Manchester later in the year, if that’s true then you definitely want to book as soon as they go on sale, you won’t regret it!

The support act Twen are also American, originally from Boston and currently based in East Nashville.  Formed in 2017, their debut album is released on 20th September, a date for the diary.

They may have been the support act tonight, but I’d definitely go and see them headline their own show.

It was hard to pin down their genre, everything from funk to psyche, just the way I like it!

There isn’t a lot of bio information available online about them, the sassy Lead singer is Jane Fitzsimmons and the guitarist is Ian Jones I believe.

Well worth keeping an eye (and ear) on them if you ask me!

What a superb night!


Words + Pictures: John W. King