City Reign: Live

City Reign march to the beat of their own drum (Copyright Skye Jefferson Photography)

By Sarah Hayhurst

When most people go to see an Indie rock band they don’t expect to walk into a punk gig. But there it was; leather jacket clad boys and Doc Martin wearing girls jumping around. Somehow I can’t imagine an English Indie band headlining this but I wait and bop along to the manic bands.

As the punk bands came to an end and their fans dispersed the audience shifted. The more conservatively dressed of the crowd shuffle to the front.

The gig is in honour of their new EP ‘Numbers for Street Names’, released on their own label Car boot Records. Hailing from Manchester they have a lot to live up to with greats such as The Smiths paving the way for bands there.

Drawing influence from their predecessors, there is also iconic bands such as Idlewild and Oasis.

Throughout the set you can hear the similarities to these bands, especially Idlewild due to Chris Bulls vocal style.

It is easy to compare City Reign to bands such as these, but when they play they forge their own identity. Opening with ‘See What It’s Worth’, they gauge the crowd starting off a little reserved. This doesn’t last, they are foremost friends before a band and their camaraderie is shown, confidence growing as they play.

The second song, previous single ‘Out in the Cold’ has people bopping along and singing along, ‘Making Plans’ has the same affect. Both are catchy guitar driven tunes which are more than worthy

of airplay. Each song is balanced by lead guitar and vocal, Mike Grice’s solos break up the main body and allow a change or break.  The bass still comes through and is not lost in the songs as Michael Glaze maintains an even flow.

Their last song before encore ‘Anywhere, Anyway’ was recorded merely a day before the EP went into production.  Though it was the last track to be recorded for their EP, it is the most poignant. Taking a different route to the rest of the songs, a more acoustic sound takes over and we see a different side to this band. Slower and softer, it shows they’re not just about guitar riffs; they have melodic indie rock oozing from their fingertips.

Finally finishing with Tired Eyes, they pick it up again a little, but no too much. Keeping it slow enough to bring everything to an end but still the guitar keeps you bopping along. Drummer Duncan Bolton’s drum kit has been sliding away from him since the beginning of the set so the end is seen with relief from him.

After it I am left in wonder of what is next for this band. They have a strong EP which could and should be played on the radio.

After 3 years the band decided it was time to be serious and record this EP.  Those 3 years have been worth the wait, expect big things from City Reign, this Mancunian band has only started their road to success.


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