The VirginMarys

The VirginMarys

Satellite towns tend to breed big ambitions. Perched on the hills above Manchester, Macclesfield's principle claim to fame comes in the cult of Ian Curtis. That classic example of the 'just out of the city' boy reinforces how big horizons tend to breed big ambitions.

The Virginmarys are not part of the Curtis club. Their music blends the dynamics of platinum class 'grunge' (basically Nirvana, Mudhoney and Screaming Trees) with the spikiness of punk and the attention to detail and honesty of prime British rock of the early 1970's, before the wizards and capes overcame the attack and dynamic. Their belief system begins with a devotion to the idea of playing. Live or in rehearsals, the three are at their most comfortable instruments in hand. Whether this is cool or not in a world where we sometimes seem to want our bands to devote themselves to studiously not playing is of no consequence to them. So, the debut album, 'King Of Conflict', was recorded live in the studio with Toby Jepson producing and Chris Sheldon (Pixies, Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, etc) at the mixing controls to capture the band at their thrilling best.

But this is not 'muso' territory. Whilst Ally may have learnt his playing via a local blues maestro and lived in a house sound tracked by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Free and The Allman Bros courtesy of his dad, the revelation of Nirvana and the digging backwards to punk and forwards to the diverse likes of Elbow and Arcade Fire meant that when Ally, Matt and Danny set out to write rock songs, those were never likely to be dumb, despite being a hell of a lot of fun. Further, Ally's nature and his position as lyricist pretty much guaranteed that The Virginmarys would share much in common with those bands who eschewed the brainless cartoons of metal to create a rock music that used its words to deal with real life, real feelings and serious subjects. So a typical song from the trio rocks as hard as anything you are likely to hear but can talk about making the wrong calls despite yourself ('Dead Man's Shoes), domestic violence from the less thought out position of male as victim ('Portrait Of Red') and anti-capitalism ('You've Got Your Money').

It's that blend of rock schooling and intelligence that makes The Virginmarys such a thrilling proposition. Unlike so many contemporaries, the three are unlikely to fall into any of the obvious traps that bedevil young bands in their world. Having spent three years touring and playing alongside a series of self-released EP's the band have built a fan base that encompasses the likes of Slash (a regular VM's T shirt wearer), We Are Scientists, Eagles Of Death Metal and Ash, all of whom have invited the band to support them and thousands of devoted fans across the globe. In the process they have featured on BBC Breakfast, scored an iTunes single of the week both in the UK and US, had a track featured on Rockband 3 and sold out London's Garage at a canter as part of HMV's Next Big Thing series of shows at the close of 2011.

Those beginnings have fostered a band that are ambitious without being arrogant, Ally claims that honesty is at the heart of everything he does, Danny wants The Virginmarys to be a catalyst for new bands to form and create great new music and Matt sees success as blowing away the dross that currently populates daytime radio and creating a world in which their music, and that like it, makes the music world an exciting place to be once more.

In a world crying out for a band with substance, The Virginmarys could well prove to be the answer to all our prayers.

Well Hung Heart

There is no mistaking the bluesy undercurrent that forms the bedrock of Well Hung Heart's raw and uncompromising Rock sound. British born guitarist Robin Davey cut his teeth with the Blues elite, jamming onstage with the likes of Buddy Guy and recording with Mick Jagger. Davey quickly secured a place as the youngest ever inductee into the British Blues Hall Of Fame, and has built a reputation as an eclectic and cutting edge musical mind.

Singer Greta Valenti grew up amongst the deep-rooted musical traditions of New Orleans. Though the two's early years were spent on opposite sides of the Atlantic, they have both found common ground in their passion for the raw honesty of music, delivered in its most unprocessed and unrestricted form.

With a dose of Hendrix, and a nod to PJ Harvey, Well Hung Heart is just as comfortable channeling Nirvana as they are Leadbelly or Led Zeppelin.

Well Hung Heart record just as they play live - stripped down to the core, void of multiple takes and studio trickery. Well Hung Heart finished off their first year in existence with high profile shows both sides of the Atlantic. Appearing at London's prestigious O2 Academy, and the Make Music Festival in Pasadena, opening for Grimes, Grouplove and Cults.

Well Hung Heart acknowledge that though their influences might stem from the roots, their approach to finding an audience is very much in the present. With a series of self-directed Youtube videos establishing the band's presence, Well Hung Heart have managed to build a burgeoning fan base, both with their blistering live performances, and their creativity in the digital age.

The Bourgeois

These songs were recorded by actual human beings playing actual instruments. They were produced by Steven Haigler, who engineered the last three Pixies albums and produced several gold and platinum albums for other bands including Fuel, Brand New, and Oleander among others.

$10.00 - $13.00

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The Vanguard

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The VirginMarys with Well Hung Heart, The Bourgeois

Monday, May 20 · Doors 6:00 PM / Show 6:30 PM at The Vanguard